By Habibat Aliu
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it is currently working with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to develop standards that would make the country’s commodities acceptable in the international market.
Director General of the SEC, Lamido Yuguda, stated this when the management of the Commission along with the Lagos Futures and Commodities Exchange held a meeting with Pension Commission (Pencom) in Abuja Tuesday.
According to Yuguda, the move will not only make products more acceptable, but it would also boost the nation’s foreign exchange earnings and create wealth for the people.
The commission also expressed its readiness to collaborate with the National Pencom on areas that would assist in further deepening the commodities ecosystem.
Yuguda who was represented by the Executive Commissioner of Corporate Services of the SEC, Ibrahim Boyi, stated that the SEC is very passionate about the commodities sector as it has enormous economic benefits and potential for the nation.
According to him, “One of the key pillars of the capital market master plan is the development of the commodities ecosystem which allows the nation to diversify both the economy and also create more products.
“We have recorded a lot of successes in the sector so far and we see a lot of progress in the development of the sector.”
He said the SEC is seeking collaboration with PenCom in its pursuit of economic development adding that the commodities ecosystem has huge potential if optimally developed.
“We have witnessed major achievements by the LFCE and we are happy to see them progress. We are committed to creating the rules that will ensure investor protection.
“It is a strategic focus for us to deliver one of our key mandates which are market development that will lead to economic development. Our focus remains market integrity, market fairness, and investor protection.”
Managing Director of LFCE, Akin Akeredolu-Ale said the commodities exchange is poised to explore avenues for investing pension funds in the capital market.
He expressed his joy that the SEC is spearheading the ISB to further boost the utilization of pension funds in the market adding that if pension funds are not reflated, inflation would keep affecting it.
“The primary part of our economic raw materials is crude oil, if you do not capitalize the primary sector, the manufacturing sector will suffer, same as the service sector.
“The SEC has made provisions for the PFAs to invest in the commodities sector and this is expected to catalyse our economy and spur growth,” he said.
Akeredolu-Ale also stated that the nation’s economy needs to be activated to create opportunities for pension assets to participate in the exchanges.
Therefore, he urged Pencom to look into its rules and encourage PFAs to develop an interest in investing in commodity assets on the commodities exchanges like the LFCE.
Managing Director of Lotus Capital, Hajara Adeola said the commodity space is very central to the progress and development of Nigeria’s economy, noting that it is important the entire financial system participates to build the development as done in another global market.
“The capital market is creating instruments and avenues for investments to grow the economy. It is important we put these infrastructures in place to make it profitable for our nation, ” she said.
Responding, Commissioner Technical of Pencom, Anyim Nyerere, said the Pension laws are not static but dynamic adding that the commission expects a comprehensive request to enable it to expedite actions on the matter.
Furthermore, he expressed the desire of the Pencom to work with relevant agencies to boost the capital market, while assuring that the commission will work within available laws to support the commodities trading ecosystem.
By Habibat Aliu