Commodity markets are physical or virtual markets for buying, selling, and trading raw or primary products and Nigeria is endowed with various commodities, comprising agriculture, energy and mineral resources.
At a 2-day International Conference on the Nigerian Commodities Market (ICNCM 2020) held in Abuja yesterday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said that a vibrant commodity market would create jobs, reduce poverty, and improve Nigeria’s micro-economic status.
Represented by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Maryam Katagun, Prof. Osinbajo also said that Nigeria is endowed with favourable atmospheric conditions for farming as well as abundant natural resources and a teaming youthful population. He added that the efficient use of these resources would benefit both the public and private sectors of the economy.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, Nigeria has been looking at various ways of diversifying and developing a vibrant commodity trading ecosystem. It has been proven that economic diversification is Nigeria’s only way to survive the current environment of global economic uncertainty and the unpredictable oil price that constantly hits the country hard. This is because the economy continues to be over-reliant on oil, which accounts for 80 percent of government revenue and 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said that the country is exploring several national plans, programmes and projects targeted at diversifying the production and revenue sectors of the economy. She further explained that while achievements have been made in these areas, there is a need to do more to ensure that the country’s production and export base is robust and less vulnerable to external shocks as well as provide more opportunities for the growing population.
One of the key initiatives of the 10-year Capital Market Master Plan is the development of a thriving commodity trading ecosystem as part of the capital market’s contribution to the national economy with agriculture being a vital means of achieving this goal. The agriculture sector employs 40 percent of the workforce and accounts for 22 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
Millions of Nigerians live in poverty, unemployment rates are high and productivity is at its lowest level. It is important that the government makes tangible diversification efforts by focusing on other sectors.