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NCX flag-off agribusiness campaign in Kano

The management of the Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) has kick-started a public enlightenment campaign in the commercial city of Kano, to get individuals and businesses playing in the agro-commodity sector of the economy enlisted.

According to the NCX, the Kano program is a direct response to the mandate issued by President Muhammadu Buhari during his independence day address, charging NCX, and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector to come up with a mechanism to address the rising cost of foodstuff in the country.

Speaking on Thursday, during the event entitled ‘Capacity Building on Agric Commodity Trading and Warehouse Management for Farmers, Agro-Processors and Other Market Actors in Kano’, Zaheera Baba-Ari, who is the managing director of the exchange, disclosed that the event was one of the practical steps taken towards the realization of the directive of the President.

Baba-Ari, who was represented at the occasion by the general manager in charge of operations, said that the management of the exchange is aggressively working towards the President`s directive, with the belief that through appropriate pricing mechanism which the exchange offers, the price of foodstuffs can be pushed down across the country.

“It is with great honor that I welcome all the distinguished participants to this occasion of Capacity Building Workshop for Stakeholders in the Commodity Exchange Value in Kano State and its environs. You may wish to know that Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) was established by the government to avail buyers and sellers of Nigerian agro-commodities, an organized trading platform where there will be price discovery and teeming smallholders farmers will be able to warehouse their produce after harvest for sale at a large date when they will get remunerative prices.

“A major objective of government for setting up NCX is to improve the livelihood of the farmers, increase economic productivity and create employment for Nigerians, especially in the Small & Medium scale enterprises sector, thereby boosting the nation`s GDP”, she stated.

Providing insight about the workshop, the managing director revealed that it was designed primarily to enlighten participants on the various aspects of NCX commodity trading operations as well as the mechanisms of its trading infrastructure; the training will be conducted by the senior management staff of the exchange.

Read also: Nigeria@61: Agriculture and the burden of diversification

“It is noteworthy to mention that this workshop has been held in the past in several other states across the country including Benue, Kogi, Borno, Plateau, Anambra, and Gombe, among others. Another important objective of this exercise is to attract the patronage of NCX trading floors by commodity traders and consumers in the country as well as local and international investors that have a stake in the Nigerian agribusiness sector because the Exchange is now poised to give them the benefit of an efficient and cost-effective commodity trading platform. NCX would assure the commercially viable procurement of the required volume of high–quality commodities at the best market prices.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, some of you may recall the mandate issued by Mr. President in his Independence Day Speech of October 1, 2021, to relevant government agencies such as NCX, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and National Food Reserve Agency, directing them to put heads together to ameliorate the rising domestic food prices and the general inflationary trend in the nation’s commodity trading sector.

“The exchange is very much ready to partner with sister agencies of government towards the actualization of the presidential directive. NCX Management intends to reach out to the afore-mentioned agencies and others to create a common platform to establish synergies to meet the Presidential mandate.

“I hereby call on domestic and international investors with interest in relevant segments of the country’s agro-commodity trading sector to link up with NCX to develop their business in Commodity Export, Trading, Warehousing, Collateral Management, Logistics, Financing, to name but a few.

“Needless to say, that the Presidential mandate highlights opportunities for investors in the ecosystem that they can take advantage of in the immediate, medium, and long term”, she further explained.

Baba-Ari, appealed to local and state governments across the country that has a comparative advantage in the production of agro-commodity to encourage their indigenes to link up with NCX to tap into the wealth creation opportunity which the exchange offers, noting that there is the need for major commodity groups and associations across the country to partner with the exchange to enhance their operations.

Also, giving details about the operational structure of the Exchange, she revealed that it presently has a network of warehouses across the six geo-political zones of the country to support procurement of sesame seed, soya beans, maize, sorghum, cashew as well as paddy rice, and cowpea, among other commodities.

“Each of the warehouses is supported by a Quality Assaying Laboratory as a means of ascertaining the quality perimeters of the agro-commodity being stored for trading. You may wish to note that the Exchange has field staff domiciled in selected major commodity markets in all the geo-political zones of the country. This operational structure is designed to meet the requirements of exporters and local industries such as food processors who would thus have access to a year-round supply of high-quality agro-commodities input in commercial quantities.

“This setup will also be of special interest to farmers, commodity associations, and merchants, who would have an efficient platform for the off-take of their inventories. To this end, NCX is going to redouble its efforts to establish an operational partnership with relevant actors and groups in this segment of the Nigerian Agribusiness value chain across the geo-political zones”, she concluded.

Several papers detailing the operations and benefits of the Exchange was delivered at the workshop which was chaired by Ibrahim Mukhtar, Kano State Commissioner for Commerce, Industries, Cooperative & Mineral Resources, who in his address called on the participants to leverage the opportunities available on the NCX trading platforms to scale up their businesses.
The lead paper entitled ‘Introduction to Commodity Exchange Operations’ was delivered by Benson O. Lawal, General Manager, in-charge of Operations, the second paper entitled’ Introduction to Ware housing’ was delivered by Ego Okwechime, the third paper entitled ‘Commodity Assaying /Good Storage Practices was delivered by Kabiru Abdulaziz, similarly, the fourth paper entitled ‘Trading System Architecture’ was delivered by Muhammad Jabbo.

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