FG expresses support for LCFE to strengthen commodities exchange trading

The Federal Government on Wednesday promised to partner the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE) to propel the growth of commodities exchange in the country.

The Chairman, House Commitee on Capital Market, Hon. Babangida Ibrahim, made the remarks during his maiden visit to the Exchange in Lagos.

Addressing the Board and Management of LCFE, Ibrahim, expressed satisfaction at the level of preparedness of the Exchange to commence full-blown operation.

He also expressed confidence over the ability of the LCFE to commence full operation any moment from now.

The Exchange was granted approval in-principle for trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2019.

It is said to have the capacity to commence trading with more than its initial four asset classes namely: Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas, Agriculture and Currencies.

Ibrahim, who led a high-powered team of House of Representatives’ Capital Market Committee said that the Federal Government would continue to support the growth and development of Commodities Exchanges in Nigeria.

He also assured the LCFE’s Management of continuous collaboration to ensure the development and growth of the economy.

According to him, a commodities exchange is a strong platform for economic growth and development in the wake of the government’s efforts to seek alternative means to grow the economy.

“As lawmakers, we decided to visit the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange to be familiar with its workings in a bid to providing legislative support where necessary.

“The capital market broadens access to economic prosperity by enabling the emergence of financially responsible citizens, accelerated wealth creation, and distribution in any environment.

“We are impressed by what is on the ground at the LCFE. The government is ready to support the growth of commodities exchanges in Nigeria,” Ibrahim said.

He further stated that the capital market is a critical sector that contributed to macro-economic and financial system stability, by fostering the diversification of economies and raising their capacity to absorb volatile capital flows.

In the same very, the Director-General of SEC, Dr Lamido Yuguda, said that a vibrant and efficient commodities trading ecosystem was a major driver of economic growth and development.

Yuguda assured that the regulator was committed to working with the Exchange to grow the commodities market.

He noted that LCFE had been well-positioned to trade beyond its initial four asset classes.

“This visit is a demonstration of the commitment both the legislative arm of government and the regulator have towards the development of the capital market of which the commodities market is important

“We are impressed with what we have seen here today. We have engaged them for the past one year and are aware they have been working hard to make this exchange successful.”

He said the SEC is willing to work with LCFE to develop all the rules needed to realise the potentials of the country in the area of commodities trading.

He added that the responsibility of SEC was to ensure good market development, fair trading and investor protection.

“We are working to get appropriate rules that will enhance the operations of the Exchange.

“In a bid to ensure the relevant standards required are approved by the SON, we are engaging them and pulling our weight to ensure increased visibility of our commodities in the international market.

“We need to get the foundation right and are ready to assist you in any way to ensure that we get this right, as this will lead to a more vibrant economy for us in the years to come,” he said.

He reiterated the commission’s commitment toward ensuring a viable partnership with all market operators to build investor confidence.

He congratulated the Board and Management of LCFE for putting the Exchange on the path of an institution established to create diversification in the collective efforts to develop the nation’s economy.

“SEC is willing to work with LCFE to develop all the rules needed to realise the potentials of the country in the area of commodities trading.

“The responsibility of SEC is to ensure good market development, fair trading, and investor protection. We are satisfied with the level of preparedness of LCFE,” Yuguda said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, LCFE, Chief Onyenwechukwu Ezeagu, explained that LCFE was an initiative of the Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) – the trade group of all Dealing Member Firms of all the registered Exchanges.

The LCFE’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Akin Akeredolu-Ale made a presentation on the operations of the Exchange and noted that every effort is geared towards ensuring that The Exchange operates as a Pan African Commodities Market.

Akeredolu-Ale underscored the importance of collaboration and urged all participants in the ecosystem to work together.

“Our Business Model provides for the integration of commodities stakeholders to enable the commodities ecosystem.

”LCFE does not compete with the stakeholders of the commodities ecosystem, rather, we encourage alignment of all stakeholders in the Ecosystem,” Akeredolu-Ale said. (NAN)