The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday expressed its readiness to collaborate with the National Pension Commission (PenCom) on areas that would assist in further deepening the commodities ecosystem.
Its Director-General, Mr Lamido Yuguda, was quoted in a statement to have said this during a meeting between the Commission’s management, the Lagos Futures and Commodities Exchange (LFCE) and PenCom held in Abuja.
Yuguda was represented by Mr Ibrahim Boyi, Executive Commissioner Corporate Services of SEC at the meeting.
The Director-General noted that SEC was passionate about the commodities sector because it had enormous benefits for the economy of the nation.
“One of the key pillars of the capital market master plan is the development of the commodities ecosystem which gives our nation the opportunity to diversify both the capital market and the economy and also create more products.
“We have recorded a lot of successes in the sector, so far and we see a lot of progress in the development of the sector.
“We are currently working with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), to develop standards that would make these our commodities acceptable in the international market,” he said.
According to him, this will further boost the nation’s foreign exchange earnings and create wealth for the people.
Yuguda explained that SEC was seeking collaboration with PenCom to ensure economic development, as the commodity ecosystem sector has huge potentials if optimally developed.
The Director-General noted that the commission had witnessed major achievements by the LFCE and wass happy to see them progress.
He said, “We are committed to creating rules that will ensure investor protection.
“It is a strategic focus for us to deliver one of our key mandates which is market development that will lead to economic development.
“Our focus remains market integrity, fairness and investor protection.”
Earlier, the Managing Director of LFCE, Mr Akin Akeredolu-Ale, said the commodities exchanges were interested in exploring avenues for investing pension funds in the capital market.
Akeredolu-Are expressed joy that SEC was spearheading the Investments And Securities Bill (ISB) to further boost the utilisation of pensions funds in the market.
He added that if pension funds were not reflated, inflation would keep affecting it.
The LFCE Managing Director said that, “The primary part of our economic raw materials in crude oil, if not capitalised; the primary sector, the manufacturing sector will suffer, same as the service sector.
“SEC has made provisions for the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to invest in the commodities sector and this is expected to catalyse our economy and spur growth.”
Akeredolu-Ale assured that the reflation of the assets under management would benefit people that have their assets, as globally pension assets are used to stimulate economies.
He stated that the nation’s economy needs to be activated to create opportunities for pension assets to participate in the exchanges.
The Managing Director urged Pencom to look into its rules and encourage PFAs to develop interest in investing in commodity assets on the commodities exchanges like LFCE.
In her remarks, Managing Director, Lotus Capital, Mrs Hajara Adeola, said the commodity space was central to the progress and development of Nigerian economy.
Adeola said, “The capital market is creating instruments and avenues for investments to grow the market and the economy.
“It is important we put these infrastructures in place to make it profitable for our nation.”
Responding, Commissioner for Technical, Pencom, Mr Anyim Nyerere, said the pension laws are not static but dynamic, hence the commission expects a comprehensive request to enable it expedite actions on the matter.
Nyerere expressed the desire of Pencom to work with relevant agencies to boost the economy, while assuring SEC that Pencom would work within the available laws to support the commodities trading ecosystem.