The Securities and Exchange Commission has stated the need to reduce the level of sub-standard commodities in the market and encourage global acceptance of commodities produced in Nigeria.
The Executive Commissioner Operations SEC, Mr. Dayo Obisan, stated this during a Commodities Standards Sensitisation Workshop held on Monday.
Obisan said that it is globally recognized that the unique feature of the commodities exchange is the standardization of the commodities traded on the platform as each commodity is graded by quality, size, weight and other criteria.
However, he said that the determination of these grades and standards is dependent upon improved local standards which will take into cognizance internationally accepted standards.
Obisan said the SEC strongly believes that being a project of national importance, the commodities exchanges value chain has significant value and can transform our economy.
According to him, “As Nigerians thrive to achieve a sustainably diversified economy, given the current drive to guarantee food security, there is an urgent need for more complementary efforts from the government, regulators and critical stakeholders to ensure the approval and effective adoption of appropriate local standard benchmark against international practice to establish quality and reverse the unwarranted situation of perennial rejection of the Nigerian produced commodities.
“It is therefore my expectation for this workshop and other stakeholders’ engagement to serve as a rallying point for inclusive standards development process. As the ecosystem is driven towards standardization, the broader society will be impacted for greater prosperity”.
The SEC as part of the implementation of the 10-year capital market masterplan, had constituted a technical committee in commodities trading ecosystem.
The mandate of the committee was to identify challenges with the existing framework and develop a roadmap for a vibrant ecosystem.
In his remarks, the Director-General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim said that the organization is willing to collaborate with relevant stakeholders in ensuring that the development of standards follows the best international principles of standard development as this would lead to improved lives of Nigerians.
Represented by Dr. Omolara Okunlola, Head Food Group, Salim said the organization is ensuring that it promotes confidence of Nigerians in Nigerian produce and ensuring that SON in line with the various Federal Government policies, develops standards in such areas.
“For the first time in history, we have the strategy already outlined under the Nigerian national standardization strategy.
“If you go through the strategy, you can see we have listed out standards to be developed, under agriculture, energy, transport, industry, a focus on SMEs, we also have for the health sector. The strategy is a living strategy, as policies from the government come up, we try to update the strategy “she stated.
Also speaking, Chairperson of the Commodities Trading Ecosystem Implementation Committee, Ms. Daisy Ekineh, said with the strong global push for green economies and a net zero carbon emission, the era of fossil fuel in powering development is fast coming to an end.
She said, “The progress is commendable. Nonetheless, efforts need to be invigorated to speedily diversify the economy in all respect, for while the oil sector has shrunk in its contribution to GDP, it remains quite dominant in foreign exchange receipts and export trade.
“The economy is in other words, still mono product in some respect and significantly lacking in export diversification.
“The nation’s import requirements, its foreign reserve build-up and budget funding are still largely dependent on crude oil receipts. This is clearly not sustainable and a major risk factor of the economy; being vulnerable to the vagaries of the global oil market.”