By Abba Dukawa
Following the need to diversify and grow the economy of the country for sustainable development, Kano State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna has observed that commodity exchanges can serve as key catalyst for development of critical sectors.
This, he said, is because it offers credible platform for trading and facilitating export of commodities.
He made the statement while declaring open a stakeholders sensitization workshop on commodity standards organised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in collaboration with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) at Grand Central Hotel, Kano, yesterday.
“To achieve this, our commodities must conform with internationally accepted standard,” he said.
The deputy governor added that in Kano, through Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS), it seeks to enhance agricultural productivity of Small and Medium Scale Farmers as well as improved value addition along three priority value chains of rice, wheat and tomato.
“This objective will be achieved through support for increased productivity of farmers and their linkage to markets…in this regard the commodity exchanges can play a critical role by ensuring commodities price stability and providing market access to farmers,” he added.
He further said the workshop as part of the national standard development process is relevant and timely. He therefore congratulated the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria for partnering to organise the workshop.
“This workshop is a signal that, with strong collaboration among institutions, regulators and stakeholders we can exceed our target sooner than expected,” Gawuna said. He therefore assured of continued support and cooperation to the two agencies so as to enhance the standards of the commodities.
In his remarks, the Director General of SON, Alhaji Farouk Salim, noted that since the nation is ready to key into the global sustainable commodity market, the agency is also ready to partner in areas where its services are needed.
While imploring the traders and other stakeholders along the commodity value chain to ensure compliance with the standard and evidence of certification, he reiterated that SON is committed to ensuring that the primary objective of the commodity exchange to offer fair pricing to the producers and genuine commodities to the consumers is achieved through quality production based on conformity to relevant national commodity standard.
Speaking earlier, the Director General of SEC, Alhaji Lamido Yuguda said it was the second, in the series of workshops, organised to enhance commodity standards and part of the result of their partnership with SON.
Others who spoke at the occasion included the representative of the Emir of Kano, Sarkin Shanun Kano, Alhaji Shehu Muhammad Dan Kadai.