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Abuja Exchange privatisation will greatly benefit Nigerian farmers, says MD

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June 19, 2013


Hopes of Nigerian farmers earning more from their produce continues to rise, following the Federal Government’s approval of the privatisation of the Abuja Securities and Commodities Exchange (ASCE).

Managing Director of ASCE, Yusuf Abdulrraman, said this while inaugurating 186 new members of Commodity Brokers Association of Nigeria (CBAN), in Abuja, assuring that the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) had approved the move, scheduled for completion in 12 months.

Besides the enhanced earnings, he said the exercise, when fully completed, would also improve the quality of the country’s non-oil exports.

“The implication is that we are going to have an organised market where you can trade agricultural commodities. This will ensure good pricing for the farmers and also quality produce from agro-processors and major manufacturers.

“In addition, the country’s export quality will be greatly enhanced. This will equally translate to more earnings for the farmers that dominate the economy and more earnings to those who add value to agricultural produce along the agricultural value chain,” he said.

Adulrraman assured that the privatisation process would be transparent in line with global best practice.

Also speaking, President of Commodity Brokers’ Association of Nigeria, Altine Shehu Kajiji, said CBAN would create a Commodity Investment Fund to help brokers raise enough capital to buy agro commodities from farmers.

“We will use the fund to empower the brokers who will now have enough money to be able to buy enough products from farmers. Already, we have put machinery in place to reach out to other organizations and stakeholders in the trade and agricultural fields; engage in advocacy, training, research and continuous education so that our members can be up-to-date with relevant information that will enhance our services.

“Our duty is to satisfy customers, make the society benefit from our services and ensure that we play according to the rules of the game in line with global best practices,” he said.

Chairman, House Committee on Capital Market, Hernan Hembe, who witnessed the inauguration, said the plan would make it more efficient.

He said the proposed privatization of the ASCE will ensure that the Exchange is owned by private individuals, which will make it to be more efficient and profit-oriented.

“It is my opinion that it is only private hands that can turn around the fortunes of the Exchange. Over the years, it has been proven that investment by government in business has not been efficient and profitable,” he said.


End to underfunding

The planned privatisation is expected to solve the problem of under-funding that has so far bedeviled the ASCE, which recently lamented that it has received less than N1.5 billion budgetary subventions from the federal government in the 12 years of its existence.

This, the exchange’s management said, is one reason why the exchange has not lived up to expectations.

Besides other reasons, the privatisation will enable the exchange function like commodities exchanges across the globe, which is owned and operated by the private sector, rather than as a government parastatal.

In chat with journalists in Abuja when executives of the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) paid a working visit to his office, the ASCE boss, lamented that it is yet to properly take off from the drawing board, because it lacks the necessary infrastructure.

As a result, he said, the exchange “is now going to be operated under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. But we are not looking for sleeping partners but those who will put in money and handle management up to a certain level.”

Already, he continued, a lot of interests he said have been expressed in the PPP arrangement.

“What is left is for government, which is working towards recapitalising the exchange, to fast track the process because interest is from within and outside Nigeria,” he added.

On plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to take over the ASCE, Abdurrahim said “the CBN owns 60 per cent and is desirous of seeing that the exchange becomes operational and runs profitably. The CBN was one of the stakeholders that moved for the PPP arrangement for the exchange.”

Also speaking, Mohammed Santuraki, MD of BOA, said “the future of Nigeria is in agriculture, the emphasis of our visit to Abuja Stock and Commodity Exchange (ASCE) is to work out ways for value chain financing and ASCE is very important to that and how to get agricultural commodities to the market.”


Article Credit: Daily Independent Newspaper

Updated 6 Years ago

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