Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki has expressed the need for a virile and functional Commodity Exchange in Nigeria. He noted that the giant strides being recorded in the agricultural sector under the President Goodluck Jonathan administration’s transformation agenda had made it even more apt for a virile Commodity exchange in the country.
The Director General who was speaking at one-day Stakeholders workshop on the Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX), formerly Abuja Securities and Commodity Exchange (ASCE) in Lagos on Thursday, February 20, 2014, said a strong Commodity Exchange would “undoubtedly add value to the economic value chain”.
This, he added, would pave way for competitiveness and stability in pricing of agricultural produce and commodities, “as information will be available to market participants on a sustained basis through modern information technology infrastructure. Storage facilities like warehouses and silos will be available thus serving as storage facilities for the produce and commodities until they are sold through mutually beneficial contracts”.
Dikki also said a virile Commodity Exchange would ensure liquidity to the farmers as warehouse receipts would become tradable and negotiable, adding that the commodity exchange sector would be guided with the enactment into law of the Warehouse Receipt Bill and market rules to be introduced by an independent regulatory body to be set up.
The BPE boss who was represented by the Director, Post Privatisation Monitoring (PPM), Mallam Ibrahim Kashim said the key reform deliverables would usher in a revitalization of the exchange which had remained inactive since inception, reposition it and enhance its market value both in the period preceding its privatisation as approved by the government and afterwards, thus, making it attractive to the private sector.
The DG who used the occasion to reel out some of the achievements of the Bureau, noted that the landmark reforms in the telecommunications, banking, power and hospitality sectors were few testimonies of government efforts on economic reforms.
He added that the power sector like others was deregulated by the government and privatised with the aim of attracting private investments and the attendant upgrade in infrastructure in the sector.
Dikki revealed that the reform and privatisation of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) adjudged as one of the biggest and most transparent power transactions in the world had earned the government of Nigeria over N400billion and opened up the sector to huge investment potentials to improve power supply.
“The fact that the current power reform initiatives will cause stability in the industrial sector, revolutionize rural electrification and improve rural-urban migration index are positive offerings that Nigerian will soon witness. These strides have been made possible by the sustainable transaction framework engendered in the Public Enterprises (Privatisation and Commercialisation) Act 1999, the Commercialisation framework 2008 and various directives by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and the unflinching support of various key stakeholders”, he said.
The workshop theme is: Towards achieving best standards and practices in the Nigerian Commodity Exchange Operations. It was organized by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment in collaboration with the BPE and other stakeholders.