Group Picture left-Right, DG-SEC Alh. Lamido Yuguda, His Excellency Deputy Governor of Kano State Alh. Nasir Yusuf Gawuna and DG SON Mallam Farouk Salim

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has urged agricultural processors and farmers in Kano State to improve the standards of their commodities.

The Director-General of SON, Malam Farouk Salim, made the call during a sensitisation programme organised for agricultural processors and farmers on Thursday in Kano.

The programme was organised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in collaboration with SON.

Salim said Nigeria was still lagging despite being rich in agriculture, with arable land put at 34 million hectares, which represents 33 per cent of the country’s landmass.

“Commodity trading in Nigeria began in 1947 and the first Commodity Exchange (NCX) was established in 2001 which is still thriving under the purview of SEC with several private ones being established.

“However, countries with better-organised commodity exchanges have historically gained an advantage over others, including Nigeria,” he noted.

Salim, who said Nigeria was ready to key into the global sustainable commodity market, expressed the readiness of SON to partner with processors and farmers to improve commodity standards.

“SON is ready to partner in areas of services and products to develop new standards and review of existing ones in line with the economic diversification policy of the Federal Government.

“Agricultural produce, including corn, groundnut, maize, soybeans, rice and wheat are increasingly traded on globally.

“The only way we will be able to have Halal certification is to join the Standards Organisation of Islamic Countries (SOIC) where one can use some of the resources they have in the Halal Institute,” he said.

Salim added that the purpose of the institute was to help set the standards together with Islamic stakeholders in the country.

According to him, Nigeria has meat products and if we can get Halal certificate recognition, fresh meat can be easily be exported to the Middle East, without any stress.

The Director-General also said Nigeria’s economy could benefit from the Halal system currently worth more than seven trillion dollars.

Also speaking, the Director-General of the SEC, Alhaji Lamido Yuguda, said there was a need for stakeholders to ensure effectiveness, adoption and enforcement of appropriate standards.
Yuguda said it would help establish quality, save embarrassment, as well as prevent the rejection of Nigerian produce.

“Commodities exchange has the potential to efficiently link industries by creating jobs, improve living standards, unlock the economic potential of communities, promote rural development and enhance the financial situation of small farmers,” he noted.

The Deputy Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Nasir Yusuf-Gawuna, commended the efforts of SON and SEC for the sensitization.

The event had in attendance His Excellency the Deputy Governor of Kano State Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, the representation of his Royal Highness the Emir of Kano. Sarkin-Shanun Kano, Alh. Shehu Mohammad Dankade, the Director-General Mallam Faruk Salim, the Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission Mr Lamido Yuguda, the Zonal Coordinators of Security and Exchange Commission (SEC),

Stakeholders include the former National President of Trader Association of Nigeria Alh. Bature Abdulazeez MON, Managing Director/CEO Nigeria Commodity Exchange Mrs Zaheera M. Baba-Ari, the Managing Director Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange ltd Mr Muhammad Rabi’u El-Yakub,

Others include the National Sesame Seed Association of Nigeria Alh. Umar Habu Ibrahim, the president Maize Growers and Processors Association of Nigeria (MAGPANAM) Prof. Uche Edwin, the Executive Director Institute of Agricultural Research ABU, Zaria Prof. Mohammed Faguji Isiyaku, stakeholders from CTEIC, AFEX Commodity Exchange, AFAN, CBN, FSS, USAID, UNIDO, WFP etc.

The Director Standards Mrs Chinyere Egwonwu enlightening the participants more on Standards

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