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AFEX decry over N2 trillion funding gap in agriculture sector

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AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited, has called for a strengthened collaboration among stakeholders in the Nigerian commodities market to address the over N2 trillion funding gap in the Agriculture sector.

Speaking during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between AFEX and the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers(CIS) in Abuja on Tuesday, Ayodeji Balogun, Chief Executive Officer of AFEX, noted that Agriculture in Nigeria has remained significantly under funded, hence it poorly delivers on expectation and the amount of commodities available to the exchange market.

“Agriculture in Nigeria is significantly under funded and that is primarily because everywhere in the world, nobody buys commodities. Everybody buys futures and until we have enough commodities to exchange, we won’t be able to deliver value to the market.

“So we see an N2 trillion gap in Nigerian agriculture financing and we are definitely positioned to solve this problem.

“To be able to solve it, is where the partnership between the commodity sector itself, as well as the capital market and the security exchange comes in,” he said.

According to him, effort must be made to ensure that investment asset are tied to solving an identified problem in the Nigeria economy.

He added that AFEX offers solutions that create direct interaction with farmers in a bid to meet their needs.

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“For us in AFEX, the core of who we are is transitioning from commodities to capital for shared prosperity both for producers, retail investor and the participating investment market.

“We ensure that investment asset solve problems along ending hunger, ending poverty, gender equity, responsible consumption and decent jobs which are the crux of problem in Nigeria. So the more we can rally across the capital market to solve these problems, the better for us as Nigerians,” he said.

In his remark, Tunde Amolegbe, President of CIS, said that the primary task of the Institute is to train and certify securities and investment professionals.

He however commended the activities of AFEX in promoting the trading of commodities as an asset which enables portfolio diversification.

“We commend the solid footing that AFEX has created, as it now enable investors to include commodities as asset class in the investment portfolio. Prior to now the focus has been only on equities, bond among others.

“The ability to diversify client portfolio with commodtities as additional asset class, provide the needed diversification, reduction of risk and enhanced returns,” he said.