Mary Uduk

“Nigeria’s Commodity Market will Aid Diversification Plans” – SEC

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has described the country’s Commodity Trading Ecosystem as an important market that will strongly aid efforts driven by the current administration to enable diversification.

Mary Uduk, the Acting Director General of the SEC aired this opinion at a Capacity Building programme for Judges and Top Management of the Investment and Securities Tribunal, IST on Commodities Trading Ecosystem held in Abuja, on Monday, May 13.

Uduk, who was represented by the Acting Executive Commissioner of SEC Operations, Isyaku Tilde, said it was important to organize the commodities market to enhance its efficiency, growth and competitiveness which will better position it to play a strong enabling role in food security, employment generation and economic diversification which is the main thrust of this government.

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She stated that there are lots of benefits in promoting commodities exchanges and the ecosystem in general as they provide a transparent pricing mechanism.

“It promotes attractiveness of agribusiness, fosters financial inclusion and improves the quality of agricultural output and profitability as well as government revenue. It also enhances the wellbeing of the farming communities and help reduce rural – urban drift,” said Uduk.

The Acting DG said the SEC, 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/infrastructure and develop a roadmap for a vibrant ecosystem.

According to her, “The Technical Committee set up to develop a roadmap for reviving the Commodities Trading Ecosystem came up with over forty (40) recommendations to be implemented in 4 phases between 2018 and 2025; the report also observed the knowledge gap that exists within the ecosystem and recommended the need for capacity building on the Commodities Trading ecosystem to stakeholders and to the general public.

To ensure the implementation of these initiatives, the SEC constituted an Implementation committee consisting institutional members to drive the process.

She said the training became necessary because the Investments and Securities Tribunal, IST statutorily has jurisdiction over securities related matters and this includes the commodity trading market.

The successful implementation of the Technical Committee’s report she said, will undoubtedly lead to more activities in the market and this will result to disputes.

“Therefore, to effectively make informed decisions on commodities market related disputes, the judicial and non-judicial staff of the Tribunal requires the basic knowledge on the Commodities Trading Ecosystem.

“It is without doubt that investors’ protection is at the heart of market regulation. This implies that the most important participant in the capital market is the investor hence the overriding need for strong regulation and adequate safeguards coupled with an efficient dispute resolution mechanism” she added.

In his remarks, Chairman of IST, Mr. Siaka Isaiah Idoko-Akoh, commended the SEC for organizing the training, adding that with the way the market is progressing, commodity market has become a very important aspect.

“As the market grows, so will disputes by investors, and we need to be adequately prepared to be able to resolve such matters. We have seen how Commodities exchanges have grown in other jurisdictions and we hope we will have more interface like this one to assist in moving the nation’s economy forward.

The Ecosystem is an organized commodities market consisting of multiple players that interact to form the agricultural value chain. They include commodity exchanges, farmers, merchants, aggregators, processors/producers, commodity market operators, warehouse operators, collateral managers, banks, insurance companies, clearing houses, and logistic companies.

The Commodity Trading ecosystem provides a sophisticated human interaction of which the inevitable disputes will call upon the IST.