The Nigerian Commodity Exchange (NCX) has engaged various stakeholders in the nation’s agro-commodities sector, with a view to crashing the soaring prices of food items, across the country.
Mr. Chris Echikwu, the NCX spokesman, said that the move to synergise with relevant agencies to bring down the prices of food items in the country was in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The president had in his Independence Anniversary broadcast on October 1, said that the activities of middlemen and hoarders were responsible for the unprecedented high prices of food items.
Mr. Echikwu said that a team of the Exchange’s experts ld by the Managing Director Mrs. Zaheera Baba-Ari, had met with various farmers and commodity associations in the largest food producing states of Benue, Kogi, Borno, Plateau, Anambra and Gombe, among others.
He said that the team has met commodity merchants from the popular Dawanau market Kano, Maize Association of Nigeria, All Farmers Association of Nigeria and warehouse owners who pledged to key into NCX operations towards actualizing the President’s mandate.
The MD was quoted as NCX was established by government to avail buyers and sellers of Nigerian agro-commodities “an organized trading platform where there will be price discovery and the teeming small holder farmers will be able to warehouse their produce after harvest for sale at a later date when they will get remunerative prices.
“A major objective of the government for setting up NCX is to improve the livelihood of the farmers, increase economic productivity and create employment for Nigerians, especially in the Small & Medium scale enterprises sector, thereby boosting the nation’s GDP.”
Mrs. Baba-Ari added that the consultations were to also attract the patronage of NCX trading floors by commodity traders and consumers in the country, as well as, local and international investors that have a stake in the Nigerian agribusiness sector.