SEC expresses worry as banks’ credit to agriculture sector remains low

The Acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Mary Uduk, has disclosed that the commission is worried over credit allocation to the Nigerian agriculture sector has remained as low as 5% in the last ten years.

Uduk explained that the situation is seriously hindering growth in the agricultural sector. Recall that the Nigerian Government has recently been attempting to diversify the economy.

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Much of the effort to diversify the economy has been focused on the agricultural sector. It is, therefore, surprising to see that despite the clamouring, inadequate financing has remained a major problem facing agriculture in the country.

It is partly in view of this challenge that SEC is planning to host an International Conference for the Nigerian Commodities Market. While briefing journalist, yesterday, ahead of the conference, which is slated for next week Monday, Uduk stressed the importance of agriculture to Nigeria’s food security, the country’s job market, and foreign exchange earnings.

She noted that a well-structured commodities market might just serve as the perfect solution to the inadequate financing problem that is currently militating against the agricultural sector. This is because a structured commodities market in Nigeria will help expose Nigerian Commodities to the international market.

Already, there are three existing commodities exchanges in Nigeria, including AFEX Commodities Exchange Ltd and the Abuja Securities & Commodities Exchange. If these commodities exchanges receive robust public participation from notable financiers and international commodity exchanges, they will be better positioned to unlock in the short to medium term, Uduk claimed.

It is in view of the foregoing that SEC is hosting the international commodities conference. Uduk said:

“These important points and benefits have dictated the Commission’s decision to host the International Conference on the Nigerian Commodities Market 2020 with the theme “Commodities Trading Ecosystem: Key to diversifying the Nigerian Economy,”  she added. 

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