SEC seeks SON partnership on commodities trading.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has requested greater collaboration with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to ensure speedy approval and publication of standards relevant to the commodities trading ecosystem
This request was made by the Director General of the SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, during a working visit to the SON Management in Abuja recently.
Yuguda said the commission, as part of its implementation of the 10-year Capital Market Master Plan, constituted a Technical Committee on commodities Trading Ecosystem whose mandate was to identify challenges of the existing framework and develop a road map for a vibrant ecosystem.
According to him, the prompt establishment of relevant standards would be transformational for the Nigerian commodities trading ecosystem.
Yuguda said, “Standards provide consumers with an assurance of fitness of purpose, processors with commodities specifications, and serves as reference point against which features of commodities can be compared.
Other benefits include increase in value to smallholder farmers due to premium paid on high-quality commodities, reduction of post-harvest losses, quality packaging and storage, as well as increased employment opportunities through the set-up of warehouses and assaying companies to provide quality assurance services.
He enumerated more benefits as including global acceptance of commodities produced in Nigeria for export, leading to increased foreign exchange earnings, increase in number of processing plants in Nigeria due to better quality of raw materials and overall growth of the Nigerian economy.
The SEC DG added that the commission was committed to mobilising relevant stakeholders in the commodities trading ecosystem to provide the support needed by the SON to achieve expedited approval and publication of the commodities standards.
According to him, standard setting is a project of national importance and the SEC along with other stakeholders will work with the SON to achieve the objective and by extension national food security and self-sufficiency.
Responding, SON Director General, Mallam Farouk Salim acknowledged and expressed excitement over the existing collaboration with SEC as it sought to develop the capital market in Nigeria, and the need to enhance it.
He said “If we gather forces to improve on standardisation, our farmers and processors would be able to attract funding, export commodities of high standards and attract the much-needed foreign exchange”.
The SON DG described his organisation as public protectors in symbiotic partnership with regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to him, the imminent implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement in January 2021 necessitates that stakeholders in Nigeria join forces to protect local manufacturers from unfair competition from importers of substandard and cheaper products.
Mallam Salim lamented the thousands of jobs lost to relocation of businesses like Dunlop and Mitchellin out of Nigeria as well the dented National pride due to unfair competition with substandard products.
He advocated greater interaction and joint sensitisation by SON and SEC to get the support of the business community and further promote the commodities Trading Ecosystem.