From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
The Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange in Kano state has been granted operational license to commence operation by the Nigeria Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The project consultant handling the project, Mr Binshang Binfa disclosed this when he received the delegations from five federal agencies on an inspection tour of the market ahead of its official take-off in the second quarter of this year.
Binfa said the market would operate in four critical sectors of the Nigerian economy including the solid mineral, agriculture, oil and gas and currencies.
According to him, “I would like to thank the SEC for granting us approval to operate as a commodity exchange which happened sometime last month.
“And we are already set to commence operation and then if you can look at the market critically you’ll see that the things required for us to operate fully have been put in place.
“As you have seen, we are also putting finishing touches to those that we have employed over time to come in and once they come in the second quarter we expect that operations commence immediately in the second quarter.
“So, we are expecting that by the time the farmers are harvesting in the next harvest season there is already a ready market that is here to accommodate them and also to help them achieve the kind of result that they required.
“For small holder farmers we have already aggregated some cooperatives which we are working with, we have been training them over the years we are in close contact with them.
“That is number one, and we also have a price mechanism that is here for the price discovery system and also for market intelligence, once we commence operation, smallholder farmers would be able to benefit immensely in terms of value for their commodity.
“Definitely the commodities that come here will add value which will also improve value. Once we have that, we would be able to help the small-holder farmer and finally the smallholder farmers can take advantage of the warehouses in this system where they can take some form of loan for their next farming season against the things they have stored in the warehouse.
“That will also help them and it will also help the government too to make the anchor borrower more effective.
Speaking about their observations after the inspection of the multi-billion naira facility the inspection team expressed satisfaction with the effort put in the market, giving a nod for a smooth take-off.
The agencies that visited the market consist of the Nigerian Exchange Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) and the Nigerian Customs Service.
Mr Tijjani Jiril, General Coordinator, NEPC Northwest, said “I am so overwhelmed by the facilities they have put on ground, we are very happy to see this kind of thing happening in Kano state.
“And we are here on the facility tour in order to see how we can partner by way of support.