By Peter Egwuatu
THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has finally approved the application from Lagos Commodity and Futures Exchange, LCFE, for the commencement of commodities and futures trading. The LCFE is promoted by the Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON).
As a prelude to the historic approval, the Commission had earlier granted the LCFE, approval-in-principle.
According to the letter of approval, signed by SEC’s Head of Registration, Exchange and Market Infrastructure, Mr. Emomotimi Agama, on behalf of the Ag. Director General, Ms Mary Uduk, the final approval takes effect from June 14, 2019.
Part of the approval letter addressed to LCFE’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Akin Akeredolu-Ale states: “In the exercise of the power conferred on it by the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) No 29 of 2007 and the Rules and Regulations made there-under, the Commission has granted your Company, registration to perform the function of a Commodities and Futures Exchange in the Capital Market with effect from June 14, 2019. By virtue of this registration, you are authorised to perform the function for which you are registered.”
Responding to the approval, ASHON’s Chairman, Chief Patrick Ezeagu, said “SEC has shown a commitment to open up the commodities market ecosystem for ASHON’S initiative of floating LCFE to come to fruition. Congratulations to the market, the operators and the economy. We are really grateful to SEC, shareholders, and all our partners NSE, CSCS, technology providers etc that collaboratively bathed this new baby.”
As a collective endorsement of the new organization which has opened more opportunities for diversification of their businesses, stockbrokers had early this year converged at the corporate office of LCFE for on-the-spot assessment and appreciation of the facilities for trading. They commended ASHON for the initiative and registered their loyalty to the new trading platform.
The cheery news of the approval has elicited jubilation among stockbrokers with torrents of congratulatory messages to ASHON and the management of LCFE. Analysts were quick to say that the Nigeria’s capital market was long overdue for a thriving commodities exchange in view of the ongoing occasional shocks in the international oil market and the federal government’s resolve to give agriculture a pride of place as the country’s major income driver.