The chairman of AgriFin Nigeria, Chief Goodie Ibru, has pledged the readiness of his organisation to partner with Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) in tackling food security in Nigeria in line with the objectives of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Ibru made the pledge while on a courtesy call to NCX management in Abuja recently.
While acknowledging the importance of NCX as a national platform for the facilitation of agribusiness in the country, Chief Ibru pointed out that the private sector in Nigeria had a responsibility towards improving the wellbeing of the common man and stated that in this vein, his organization would invest in the provision of adequate warehousing network across Nigeria’s geo-political zones to assist farmers properly store their yield harvest produce to reduce wastage.
He said that AgriFin would also collaborate with NCX to improve agribusiness in the areas of quality assurance, derivative trading as well as supporting the processing of agro-produce presently exported in the raw form into finished products by way of value addition as means of attracting FOREX into Nigeria.
The AgriFin chairman posited that NCX is a veritable government platform to facilitate the entrance of Nigerian agribusiness entrepreneurs into numerous foreign markets available through such platforms like AGOA, adding that he would strive to connect the exchange to international business partnerships with UNIDO, United Nations, African Development Bank and African Business Roundtable, among other international institutions.
In her welcome remarks, the Managing Director/CEO of NCX, Zaheera Baba-Ari, welcomed the offer of collaboration from Chief Ibru and his organization with NCX, pointing out that as the federal government’s official national platform for facilitation of trade in agro-produce and solid minerals in Nigeria, the exchange stands ready to play its part in the realization of the stated objectives.
She noted that the visit coincided with the exchange’s acquisition of a network of 25 warehouses from Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, FMARD, across the country, adding that several of them were nearing complete rehabilitation in readiness for trading operations.
The warehouses, which are located in all the nation’s geo-political zones, would be equipped with quality assaying laboratories as well as Market Information offices to facilitate commodity trading, she added.
The Managing Director called on similar organizations within and outside the country to partner with NCX in supporting the Federal Government’s effort to diversify the national economy and create employment.
Chief Ibru was accompanied on the visit by Mr. Dotun Ajayi, Executive Director of African Business Roundtable, Dr Sunday Uhiene and Mr. Funsho Akinyemi of AgriFin, while the NCX team comprised Messrs Sesan Lawal (GM Operations), Emmanuel Egwu (DGM Management Services), Chris Echikwu (DGM Corporate Communications/Strategy), Ezekiel Davou (DGM Market Development) and Biodun Oladotun (Manager Operations).
It will be recalled that the Federal Government had established the Nigeria Commodity Exchange to provide a national trading platform for the organized trading of agricultural commodities and solid minerals products to ensure quality assurance of commodities, realistic price discovery as well as timely and assured delivery of contracts, leading to the emplacement of NCX as the country’s major market player in commodity trade facilitation and intermediation in a manner that would actively promote economic diversification and the sustainable growth of the Nigerian economy.