The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has partnered with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to establish standards for export commodities.
This initiative aims to bolster the economy, create employment opportunities for Nigerians, and generate foreign exchange.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the commission emphasized the anticipated significant future growth of Nigeria’s agricultural sector.
However, recent statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics reveal a 0.90% contraction in the agric sector during the first quarter, contributing to a decline in the overall Gross Domestic Product. This marks the sector’s first negative growth in seven years.
Lamido Yuguda, the Director-General of SEC, revealed that the collaboration with SON has already led to the developing of some standards, which have received positive feedback in various markets.
Establishing these standards will pave the way for exporting products to international markets, bolstering the Nigerian economy.
Yuguda highlighted the SEC’s ongoing efforts to promote agricultural and mineral commodities, acknowledging Nigeria’s significant potential in these sectors.
He lamented that the need for more standardization had rejected much Nigerian agricultural produce in international markets. While Nigeria possesses excellent fruits, smaller countries have been able to successfully export their agricultural products due to adherence to international standards.
The Director-General expressed optimism about the collaboration with SON, viewing it as a good starting point that could yield significant results in the future.
He emphasized the SEC’s commitment to collaborating with the Ministry of Solid Minerals to tap into the vast opportunities in the mining sector. He stressed the importance of licensing artisanal mining activities and implementing sustainable practices through collaboration with state governments and the Ministry of Mines.
Yuguda also shared that the SEC has established a Technical Committee on Commodities Trading Ecosystem as part of the implementation of the Capital Market Master Plan. The committee aims to identify challenges within the existing framework and develop a roadmap for a robust ecosystem.
A stakeholder committee, including SON, has been formed to execute the recommendations outlined in the committee’s report, including developing grading and standardization systems in line with international best practices.
In addition to partnering with SON, SEC is collaborating with the National Insurance Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals and Mines.
These collaborative efforts focus on capacity building, standard setting, and domestic and international advocacy to enhance the sector’s growth and development.