The Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), plans to operate a N50bl commodities exchange in Q3, 2018 as part of its efforts in supporting and driving the Agriculture sector in Nigeria. This will be done through the Alternative Securities Exchange Market(ASEM) of the Nigeria stock exchange.
Chairman of the Nigeria Stockbrokers Agribusiness Group(NSBAG) Sir Babatunde Sobamowo disclosed this at the official launch of the initiative geared towards providing structured financing, for the critical value chain in the Agric sector.
Sir Sobamowo said the NSBAG initiative which is in partnership with the Corporate Farmers International and reputable International organizations like International Institute for Tropical Agriculture(IITA), was designed to leverage on the opportunities and prospects of Agro-sector, which is a key sector that has been identified by the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan policy of the Federal Government as one of the major driver of Nigeria’s economy.
According to Sobamowo, the collaboration through NSBAG is focused on food security, reducing the poverty level in the country, reducing urban migration and raising income for Nigerians. He also believed that the NSBAG will create a lot of business opportunities in the Agro-sector through the stock exchange.
Chairperson of the event Dr Kwesi Attah-Krah Director, Country Alignment and Systems Integration of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture(IITA) in his remarks at the launch said the Agriculture space in Nigeria was witnessing a new dimension, with the possibilities of economic opportunities in the sector.
Dr Kwesi Attah-Krah noted that there was a new awakening with the young people changing the narrative of the sector, from “Agriculture to Agri-coolture”, asserting the fact that with the Nigerian population dominated by the youth, any initiative that does not attract them will have issues.
Keynote speaker at the launch Professor B. A. Adewunmi from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta harped on the need for Nigeria to give Agriculture the priority it deserves in the economy.
Acording to Prof Adewunmi “Nigeria must reposition Agriculture as a business through the engagement of the Nigeria stock exchange”. He also called for an industry led approach to the agro-sector, with the establishment of innovation clusters for the sector in key locations in the country.
National Coordinator of the Corporate Farmers International Prince Ade Ajayi described the launch of NSBAG as a platform for galvanizing the corporate sector and the organized private sector to provide robust funding for Agriculture, through real-time investing. Ajayi was of the strong view that the Agric sector in Nigeria, will witness remarkable transformation through Agri-business.
The Managing Partner for the Corporate Farmers International Mr Akin Alabi informed stakeholders who attended the NSBAG launch, that the initiative was leading a new movement in Agric-financing which was critical to the sustainability of the sector.
In his goodwill message at the event, the President of the Association of Stockbroking Houses in Nigeria(ASHON) Mr Onyenechukwu Ezeagu called for a strong link between the Universities of Agriculture and the Agro-Industry in the country.
Source – ProShare