By Peter Egwuatu
Top securities dealers in Nigeria have urged the Federal Government to expand the agriculture sector to create job opportunities for youths and leverage Commodities Exchanges to grow the country’s foreign exchange earnings, forex, in view of dwindling income from the international oil market.
Besides, the Securities Dealers have identified the need to put in place relevant structures that will enhance the growth of local industries, highlighting the benefits of Commodities Exchanges.
The Chairman, Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Chief Onyenwechukwu Ezeagu, at the weekend explained that the negative impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on most sectors of the economy had made it imperative for the government to enhance the growth and development of Commodities Exchanges as alternative sources of revenue.
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He stated: “The need to encourage the establishment and growth of Commodities Exchanges in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized in the wake of the crippling impact of oil glut and the COVID-19 pandemic. If Nigeria is serious about diversification of her economy and forex earnings, the route to take is via functional commodities exchanges where all asset classes: agricultural, hydrocarbon and solid minerals etc are tradable in a most efficient and transparent manner and the quality of tradable commodities are guaranteed.
“This is even more so for local industries that need to be assured of regular and uninterrupted raw materials supply as their production input. The farmers, miners etc would benefit from an efficient commodities exchange platform as they have opportunity for prices discovery and an assurance of off takers of their output.”
Corroborating him, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange, (LCFE), Mr Akin Akeredolu– Ale who volunteered information that LCFE would soon commence trading on Agricultural Commodities, Solid Minerals, Currencies and Oil and Gas submitted that at this critical period, a credible option for Nigeria’s accelerated economic revival would be for the government to put in place structures to promote agriculture and commodities exchanges.
Global Asset Management’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Babatunde Shobamowo, noted that Government all over the world utilized commodities as a veritable means to hold value in bearish period or when the currency is facing imminent depreciation.