By Providence Adeyinka
The Nigeria Commodity Exchange, NCX, has called on investors in the agro-commodity trading sector to take advantage of the trading platform to boost their business.
Meanwhile, the exchange has organized a capacity building workshop for stakeholders in the commodity exchange value chain in Ogun State to enlighten participants on the various opportunities in the NCX commodity trading operations as well as the mechanisms of its trading infrastructure.
Speaking at the workshop in Abeokuta, Managing Director, NCX, Mrs. Zaheera Baba-Ari, said that the call became necessary following a presidential mandate issued on October 1, 2021 to relevant government agencies such as NCX, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and National Food Reserve Agency, directing them to put heads together to ameliorate the rising domestic food prices and general inflationary trend in the nation’s commodity trading sector.
She said that the workshop which has been held in other states including Benue, Kogi, Borno, Plateau, Anambra and Gombe, among others, was to attract the patronage of NCX trading floors by commodity associations domiciled in Ogun and environs as well as local and international investors that have a stake in the Nigerian agribusiness sector because the exchange is now poised to give them the benefit of an efficient and cost-effective commodity trading platform.
Baba-Ari who was represented by General Manager, Operations, NCX, Mr. Benson Lawal, attributed the rising food price in the country to insecurity, foreign exchange, bad roads, among others, adding that government should address insecurity as well as provide good roads.
She said: “It takes five days to travel from Zamfara to Lagos due to bad road. Insecurity, fear of hijack of food stuff by bandits have limited the supply of grains coming to the market, farmers are afraid of going to the farm to harvest what they produce, due to kidnap. This leads to lean harvest and lean supply relative to huge demand. We have forex in everything we plant; you buy fertilizer herbicide and other components, the cost determines the price, you cannot produce at a high price and sell less.”
She said that the NCX would assure the commercially viable procurement of required volumes of high-quality commodities at the best market prices, saying: “Specifically, I hereby call on Cocoa Association of Nigeria, Sesame Seed Association of Nigeria, Cotton Association of Nigeria and other export-oriented agro-commodities groups to synergize with NCX to boost their operations.
“In the same vein, other farmer and merchant groups such as All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, that are operating in Ogun state are encouraged to key into NCX to enhance the business activities of their members,” he said.