SEC, SON highlight measures to encourage global acceptance of Nigeria’s commodities

*Market regulators say it is globally recognised that the unique feature of the commodities exchange is the standardisation of the commodities traded on the platform

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

In order to encourage the global acceptance of commodities produced in Nigeria, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stated the need to reduce the substandard commodities in the market.

ConsumerConnect gathered Mr. Dayo Obisan, Executive Commissioner, Operations at SEC, noted this development at a Commodities Standards Sensitisation Workshop held Monday, November 8, 2021, in Lagos.

The SEC Executive Commissioner, Operations stated it is globally recognised that the unique feature of the commodities exchange is the standardisation of the commodities traded on the platform.

Obisan stated each commodity traded on the exchange is graded by quality, size, weight and other criteria.

Malam Farouk Salim, Director General of SON

He noted, however, that the determination of these grades and standards is dependent upon improved local standards which will take into cognizance internationally accepted standards.

The SEC chief said: “On that note and in recognition of the fact that the statutory responsibility for standard setting in Nigeria lies in the Standards Organisation of Nigeria. “The Executive Management of the Commission on behalf of all stakeholders engaged with the management team of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, to ensure the expedited approval and publication of standards commodities.

“As the establishment of relevant standards will significantly transform the Nigerian commodities trading ecosystem. Sequel to that engagement, the ecosystem roadmap implementation committee comprising key stakeholders has been working on the development of grading and standardisation system.”

Obisan further stated: “The initial stage of the development process will concentrate on delivery of standards for agricultural commodities.

“In this regard, we are working with the SON to create awareness for existing agricultural commodities standard but more essentially to obtain feedback from you the stakeholders on the standards to be considered in this workshop and initiate a view of inadequate standards applicable.”

The SEC remains a strong advocate for a thriving commodities trading ecosystem, stated he.

“We strongly believe this is a project of national importance, given that that commodities exchanges value chain has significant value and can transform our economy.

“As Nigerians thrive to achieve a sustainably diversified economy, given the current drive to guarantee food security, there is an urgent need for more complementary efforts from the government, regulators and critical stakeholders to ensure the approval and effective adoption of appropriate local standard benchmark against international practice to establish quality and reverse the unwarranted situation of perennial rejection of the Nigerian produced commodities.

“It is therefore my expectation for this workshop and other stakeholders’ engagement to serve as a rallying point for inclusive standards development process. As the ecosystem is driven towards standardisation, the broader society will be impacted for greater prosperity,” Obisan said.

According to him, SEC as part of the implementation of the 10-year Capital market master plan, constituted a technical committee in commodities trading ecosystem.

The mandate of the committee, he said, was to identify challenges with the existing framework and develop a roadmap for a vibrant ecosystem.

Malam Farouk Salim, Director General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), in his remarks also stated that the regulator is willing to collaborate with relevant stakeholders in the country.

The SON Director-General, represented by Dr. Omolara Okunlola, Head Food Group, noted that ensuring the development of standards follows the best international principles of standard development would lead to improved lives of Nigerian consumers.

Malam Salim said SON is ensuring it promotes confidence of Nigerians in Nigerian produce and ensuring that SON in line with the various Federal Government policies, develops standards in such areas.

“For the first time in history, we have the strategy already outlined under the Nigerian national standardisation strategy.

“If you go through the strategy, you can see we have listed out standards to be developed, under agriculture, energy, transport, industry, a focus on SMEs, we also have for the health sector.

“The strategy is a living strategy, as policies from the government come up, we try to update the strategy,” said he.

Ms. Daisy Ekineh, Chairperson of the Commodities Trading Ecosystem Implementation Committee, said with the strong global push for green economies and a net zero carbon emission, the era of fossil fuel in powering development is fast coming to an end.

Hence, for an oil dependent economy like Nigeria, it is a race against time to effectively diversify the economy, said Ms. Ekineh.

Kindly Share This Story