AFEX, Nigeria’s leading commodities market player, is working with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on a series of workshops designed to strengthen the understanding of commodity market players on commodity standards and foster the development and adoption of a grading and standardisation system that follows international best practices.
Kano State hosted the second leg of the workshop series on the 18th of November 2021 after the first part of the workshop series was held in Lagos State.
Following the completion of the first part of the workshop series in Lagos on the 8th and 9th of November, the second leg of the workshop series in Kano State was tagged, ‘Commodity Standards Sensitisation’.
The occasion brought together stakeholders, including government agencies, farmer groups, processors, agriculture commodity exporters, merchants/off-takers, collateral managers, development partners, and other agriculture experts to provide input on the commodity standards and also identified the challenges of the existing framework, to develop a roadmap for a vibrant ecosystem.
Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, Kano State deputy governor, said that commodities exchanges can serve as a key catalyst for the development of critical sectors because it offers a credible platform for trading and facilitating the export of commodities.
“To achieve this, our commodities must conform with internationally accepted standards,” he added.
Gawuna also disclosed that Kano State is seeking to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium-scale farmers as well as improve value addition along three priority value chains of rice, wheat and tomato, through the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS).
Ayodeji Balogun, AFEX’s CEO, said the country’s first private-sector commodities exchange is building a trust economy in which stakeholders receive exactly what they pay for.
Balogun emphasised that having such a market enables liquidity, pricing transparency, more contracts, and marginalised services to processors and investors, noting that future price stabilisation will be achieved if taken into cognisance and implemented.
Balogun further asserted that AFEX is committed to attaining food security for the country, arguing that if standards are established in the commodities space, there would be more financial input for smallholder farmers by financial institutions, and commodities may be exported for much-needed foreign currency to enable the economy to thrive.
On his part, Lamido Yuguda, SEC director general, said it is globally recognised that a unique feature of a commodities exchange is the standardisation of the commodities traded on its platform. He noted that the establishment of relevant standards would be transformational for the Nigerian commodities trading ecosystem