Finance

FG To boost Agric earnings

With substantial boost in production of many agricultural produce and traders from central and North African countries flooding Nigeria to import commodities, the Federal Government (FG) is moving to maximize its advantage by resuscitating the moribund Nigeria Commodities Exchange (NCX).

Since the abolition of marketing boards by the Babangida administration, there has not been any regulation in the produce export sector and farmers have thus been open to manipulations by local and foreign middlemen.

Already, a steering committee of National Council on Privatization (NCP) on the revitalization of the NCX and the Project Delivery Team on the strategic equity investment by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has been inaugurated to drive the planned privatization of the exchange.

At a ceremony in Abuja last week, Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah explained that the proposed strategic investment in the Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is aimed at revitalizing the operations of the Exchange to make it more responsive to its mandate of serving as a platform for trading agricultural produce and other commodities.

He said it is also to facilitate trades in financial derivatives, contributing meaningfully towards the development of agricultural production through regulation of robust and standard warehousing facilities; including silos and enhancing liquidity in the sector through the Warehouse Receipt System (WRS).

Enelamah who is also the chairman of the Steering Committee, stated that revitalizing NCX was to further serve as a catalyst for promoting non-oil exports through grades and standards that conform to international best practices.

According to him, the strategic investment in the NCX by the NSIA, which was recently approved by the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo is preferred by the FG as a pre-privatization strategy to pave way for the injection of financial and other requisite resources prior to its partial privatization as approved by the NCP in 2013.

Source: Tribune

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