In line with its efforts to enhance the growth of agribusiness and commerce in Nigeria, Heritage Bank says it wants the bilateral agreement signed between Lagos and Kano states to provide for a commodity exchange.
The two states had signed the Memorandum of Understanding at the Lagos-Kano Economic and Investment Summit held in Epe, Lagos recently.
The pact was aimed at boosting commerce and agribusiness and consequently increase in revenue generation by the states, Heritage Bank said in a statement on Sunday.
The Group Head, Agric Financing, Heritage Bank, Olugbenga Awe, said there was an urgent need for the establishment of a commodity exchange, stating that it would provide the platform necessary for the success of the MoU signed by the two states.
Awe, who spoke on the topic, ‘Growth and investment opportunities in agribusiness – value chain approach’, said if the Exchange was established, it would make future contracts between traders and speculators in both states and others possible and thereby enhance agribusiness in the country generally.
Specifically, he was quoted to have said that the establishment of a commodity exchange would help to put the activities of grain farmers and others in Kano in the spotlight.
According to him, the volume of agribusiness and commerce going on daily in Dawanau market in Kano, which is the hub of grains and seeds trading across the world, needs to be complemented by appropriate policies.
Similarly, the Deputy Country Director, Sasakwa Africa Association, Nigeria, Dr. Sani Sagagi, said any country that wanted to progress must take cognisance of its population structure when formulating policies.
According to him, Africa’s population will increase to 1.4 billion in the next 12 years, while it will be 2.5 billion in 2030.
Sagagi therefore said the two state governments must begin to put the mechanism in place to address the social menace that would arise because of the surge in population.
He expressed optimism that the agreement signed by Lagos and Kano states would help a lot in finding solace to the possible challenges that would arise in the future.
The Senior Private Sector Development Adviser, the United Kingdom Department for International Development, Richard Sandall, identified financing, security and land as some of the challenges militating against smooth agribusiness in Africa.
However, he said the DFID was established with the aim of supporting Africa to address issues like that.
Sandall said, “Apart from working on alleviating the constraints, the DFID also focuses on assisting in formulating appropriate policies that would nip those challenges in the bud.”
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