The Federal Government has identified the need to increase foreign exchange earnings and government revenue through the development of a vibrant commodities exchange trading ecosystem.
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, while speaking at a roundtable conference on Nigerian Commodities Trading Ecosystem in Lagos on Thursday, said the development of a vibrant commodities trading ecosystem was key to diversifying the economy away from the crude oil.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr Yemi Dipeolu, said the commodities trading ecosystem was of paramount interest to the government because the country had an abundance of natural resources.
According to him, the country has a comparative advantage in agriculture, solid minerals and oil and gas, hence, emphasis in the immediate term is the agricultural sector.
Osinbajo said the Federal Government attached great importance to an active and vibrant capital market, which would contribute to national growth and development.
He said in order to achieve the objective, the capital market had to operate at an optimum level, which was why the implementation of the 10-year capital market master plan remained a key priority.
Osinbajo said, “Agriculture accordingly occupies a pride of place in the Federal Government policy as stated on numerous occasions by the President and as articulated in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
“The importance of agriculture was underscored during the last recession as its growth then of about three to four percent prevented a steeper decline.