The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has expressed its commitment to developing the commodities ecosystem in Nigeria to boost its non-oil sector.
The Director-General of SEC, Lamido Yuguda, said this at the 2022 annual conference of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria in Lagos on Saturday with the theme ‘Boosting domestic capacity for sustainable export earnings’.
Yuguda who was represented by the Director, Lagos Zonal Office of the Commission, Hafsat Rufia, noted that development of the commodities ecosystem would help the country achieve its quest for sustainable foreign exchange earnings and economic development.
“We believe that implementation of the roadmap for a vibrant commodities trading ecosystem in Nigeria by the commission will support development of the agricultural sector and diversification of the Nigerian economy and, ultimately, advance the country towards attaining sustainable foreign exchange earnings,” he said.
He added that it was imperative that the country focused on all the sustainable foreign exchange earning avenues of the capital market for support over the medium to long term.
“We must, therefore, leverage on the capital market through the commodities ecosystem, the equity and bond markets to develop and exploit all the potential sources of forex,” he said.
Representing the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Industry (BoI) Mr Olukayode Pitan, the Project Officer, Ominiaboh Jermila, said the national budget was heavily reliant on the revenue generated from the oil sector.
He expressed worries that since the 70s, the focus on oil as a major source of foreign exchange had negatively impacted growth in the non-oil sector and has led to decline in its contribution to foreign exchange earnings.
While noting that the non-oil sector contribution to GDP had been significant, he said during the 2008 global financial crisis, the non-oil sector helped to absorb extra natural shocks caused by the declining oil revenue.
He explained that sectors such as telecommunications, ICT, trade, industry and agriculture were critical to the economic recovery from the 2008 financial crisis and have remained so following the twin economic recession in 2016 and 2020.
Pitan said this had highlighted the need for economic diversification, which has become a significant point in national and policy-making imperatives, though with varying degrees of success.
He added that boosting exports earnings has become more important given the naira devaluation and shrinking foreign exchange reserves.
As a result of this, he said, the government has made more concerted efforts to focus on the non-oil sector for the increase and efficient collection of customs duties and other taxes.