The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday said that a vibrant commodity market would create jobs, reduce poverty, and improve Nigeria’s macro-economic status.
Osinbajo spoke at the beginning of a 2-day International Conference on the Nigerian Commodities Market (ICNCM 2020) holding in Abuja.
The Vice-President, who was represented by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Maryam Katagun, also revealed that Nigeria is endowed with favorable atmospheric conditions for farming as well as abundant natural resources and teeming youthful population.
He stressed that the efficient use of these resources would benefit both the public and private sectors of the economy.
“Our country is endowed with favorable atmospheric conditions for farming as well as abundant natural resources and teeming youthful population. Hence, efficient use of these resources will benefit both the public and private sectors of our economy, with vibrant commodities markets jobs will be created.
“Poverty will be reduced and the microeconomic situation of the country will improve. Definitely, every responsible government is interested in seeing these improvements and this is at the heart of our administration’s policies and projects implementation.”
In a keynote address, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said that the theme of the conference had always been relevant to Nigeria’s national discourse as several national plans, programs, and projects had targeted diversifying the production and revenue sectors of the economy.
Ahmed explained that while achievements were been made in these areas, there are needs to do more to ensure that the country’s production and export base are robust and less vulnerable to external shocks as well as provide more opportunities for the growing population.
She noted that the recent outbreak of coronavirus had further strengthened the federal government’s resolve to diversify the economy, hence the theme of the conference was apt and timely.
“With the topics that have been scheduled in this two-day event and the quality of the speakers, I am further assured that the outcomes of this conference will be beneficial to the Capital Market but most importantly to the national economy. Through this conference, I can see the Capital Market community add its voice to the need to further diversify our economy, while also suggesting that one of the ways to this is to develop a vibrant commodities trading ecosystem.
“Our country is well endowed with various commodities, comprising agriculture, energy and mineral resources. For instance, the agricultural sector employs about 40 percent of our labor force, and accounts for 22 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP),” she said.
In her opening remarks, Acting Director-General of SEC, Mary Uduk, said one of the key initiatives of the 10 year Capital Market Master Plan is the development of a thriving commodities trading ecosystem as part of the capital market’s contribution to the national economy.