The Nigerian Commodity Exchange (NCX) project may soon bounce back, following moves by the Federal government to revamp it.
The government foresees the NCX as playing a role in the revamping of the Nigerian economy through the promotion of non-oil export sector, and has already selected three consortia as prospective advisers for the exchange.
Dr Vincent Akpotaire, Acting Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), announced the development on Thursday in Abuja at the opening of financial proposals submitted by the prospective advisers on the strategic equity investment.
The strategic equity investment is a restructuring and strategic programme being carried out by the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
He said that 13 firms of advisers were randomly selected from the database of key stakeholder agencies of government but that only six of them indicated interest.
He added that only three met the technical advisory requirements in the long run.
Of the three, Lead Capital Consortium came first while PricewaterhouseCoopers came second and United Capital Consortium came third.
Akpotaire however, said that the results were subject to final approval by the National Committee on Privatisation (NCP) steering committee headed by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
He said that the much desired economic revamp strongly hinged on a well-structured commodity exchange as a catalyst for enhancing the effective and efficient marketing and distribution of agricultural commodities and other produce.
According to him, the commodity market rips off the farmers by dictating the amount they will pay for farm produce, adding that lack of standardisation of grains is also an impediment to exporting of farm produce.
He said that an efficient commodity exchange would serve as a good platform for trading in produce, encourage Warehouse Receipts System (WRS) as a tested and veritable source of cash flows to farmers and other market dealers.
“It will also allow for competitive and more profitable trade and exchange as opposed to the current status under which off-takers enjoy the larger chunk of market profitability.
“It will further help in engendering grades and standards mechanism that meet global best standards.
“Suffice to state that a well-structured and revitalised NCX operation will create job opportunities among the market participants like produce inspectors, private warehouse operators and logistics managers, among others.’’
The Managing Director of the NCX, Mrs Zaheera Baba-Ari, said that the present administration had given it maximal support and that with the revitalisation of the exchange, the farmers would have the last laugh.
“They will be able to make a living and will no longer be subsistent farmers and the government will be able to generate revenue from agriculture because whatever is traded on the exchange, there is a small commission that comes to the exchange.
“With the Treasury Single Account (TSA), that money will go directly to the government coffers; therefore government can now articulate what it has achieved through agriculture.’’
Representative of the Lead Consortium, Mr Deji Adekoya, said revitalising the NCX was a step in the right direction.
He said the job of the advisers was to advise government on its transactions, by putting in place procedures and policies to ensure that exchange was structured to be in a better position for farmers to access capital.
“We are coming in to bring investors to the exchange so that investors can put in equity and once you have equity, there will be a lot of restructuring and at the end of the day, the farmers will benefit.
“We are bringing our own financial expertise; our own line of business is to raise capital for both government institutions and private institutions.