A financial expert, Dr. Abubakar Muhammad, has harnessing the potentials of Nigeria’s commodities ecosystem was a potent way forward in the country’s quest for sustainable economic renaissance.
According to him, despite Nigeria’s tepid economic growth which has plunged millions of people into the clutches of poverty, the nation’s anticipated average growth rate of 3.4 per cent from 2023 to 2025 is achievable with adequate investment in the commodity sector.
Muhammed who is the chairman of Assetium Capital Management Limited, a commodity broker/dealer company, stated this at a press conference to unveil the firm in Abuja at the weekend.
He said the organization was poised to establishing a substantial footprint as a major player in the commodities sector, adding that the firm remained steadfast in its commitment to attract investors seeking opportunities within the commodities space, facilitate their participation on licensed commodities exchanges and explore the vast potential of the export market.
The expert recalled that over the years, Nigeria’s economic trajectory has been characterized by a series of notable milestones and transformations, noting that a pivotal chapter in this journey is the period spanning from 2000 to 2014.
According to him, during this time, Nigeria experienced a remarkable phase of sustained and widespread economic growth, averaging over seven per cent annually.
This growth, according to him, was the result of a confluence of favorable global conditions, astute macroeconomic policies, and pivotal structural reforms undertaken during this period.
He said the years between 2015 and 2022, however, recount a different narrative where the Nigerian economy witnessed a deceleration in growth rates, accompanied by a stagnation in GDP per capita.
He said: “This unfortunate trend was driven by a combination of factors, including distortions in monetary and exchange rate policies, escalating fiscal deficits attributable to reduced oil production and the costs associated with a fuel subsidy program, increased trade protectionism, and external shocks such as the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“These challenges resulted in the deterioration of economic fundamentals, culminating in a persistently high inflation rate, reaching a 17-year peak of 25.8 per cent in August 2023. This, coupled with tepid economic growth, has plunged millions of Nigerians into the clutches of poverty. Nevertheless, a glimmer of hope emerges on the horizon.
“The Nigerian economy stands poised for resurgence, with an anticipated average growth rate of 3.4 per cent from 2023 to 2025.
“This rejuvenation is expected to be fueled by a combination of reform initiatives, a renaissance in the agriculture and services sectors, and the promise of increased government expenditure on developmental projects. At the heart of this impending economic renaissance lies the commodities industry, a sector that has consistently played a pivotal role in contributing to Nigeria’s GDP.”
According to him, In the year 2022, agriculture alone accounted for over 30 per cent of the nation’s GDP, adding the commodities have consistently ranked among Nigeria’s top exports, with the top 10 items primarily composed of diverse commodities.
He added: “Recognizing the critical importance of this sector and the imperative to attract and safeguard investments and market participants, the Nigerian government has undertaken a proactive stance.
“The Securities and Exchange Commission, in collaboration with the establishment of a dedicated commodity regulatory division, has embarked on a mission to organize, nurture, and oversee a structured commodities market.
“This endeavor was underpinned by the meticulous crafting of a comprehensive roadmap, spanning from 2018 to 2025, with the active involvement of all major stakeholders to ensure inclusivity and a cohesive approach to planning and implementation. In response to this burgeoning opportunity, a visionary group of individuals has seized the moment.
Muhammed revealed that as a corporate entity, the organisation’s central objective wad to fortify and deepen the commodities industry in Nigeria, thereby becoming a significant contributor to the country’s GDP.
“We are dedicated to creating tangible value for our investors and ensuring that our shareholders are duly rewarded with sound returns on their investments. Our vision extends beyond the immediate horizon, we aspire to emerge as one of the top three commodities companies in Nigeria by the year 2030”, he added.
A Director in the board of the company, Kelvin Ihongbe said harnessing the potentials of the commodity market will ensure food security in line with the promise of president Bola Tinubu’s administration.
He said: “With commodity investment you can’t go wrong. If you also noticed, the president has also talked about food security and with commodity investment, you can be rest assured that there will be food security and that is why we want to use this business to provide food security, provide employment for youths in Nigeria and give everyone value for their money.
The Chief Executive of the firm, Kunle Awoluyi, said the organisation have set up a risk management committee to ensures that the management is properly advised on every investment and risk taken.