The Group Managing Director and CEO, Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Oscar Onyema, says the Agricultural sector can be the game-changer in terms of generating the much-needed foreign exchange for the Nigerian economy.
According to him, the capital market has an irrefutable role to play in improving the Agricultural sector.
Onyema made this known at the 26th Annual Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers’ conference held in Benin City, the Edo State Capital.
What Onyema is saying
Delivering a special remark at the conference, Onyema noted that food security and agricultural development are inextricably linked.
Quoting the Q2 2022 GDP report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), he stated that crop production is the major driver of the agriculture sector, as it accounts for 91.99 per cent of the overall nominal growth of the sector in the second quarter of 2022.
According to him, Nigeria’s arable land area of 34 million hectares translates to a myriad of opportunities to achieve food security. “It comes as no surprise that Agriculture accounts for about 24 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP and Nigeria is a leader in various types of agricultural production, such as palm oil, cocoa beans, pineapple, and sorghum.
“In terms of generating the much-needed foreign exchange for the Nigerian economy, the agriculture sector continues to show strong potential. In 2021, Europe was Nigeria’s main trade partner in terms of agricultural product exports. As of the fourth quarter of 2021, the export value of agricultural products to Asia amounted to approximately N68.2 billion – roughly $164.3 million.
Asia was the second largest destination region for the products, as the exports added up to around N55.7 billion, corresponding to $134.2 million”, Onyema said.
He noted that the Nigerian capital market which aids long-term capital formation could be a good engine for driving growth and development in the agriculture sector while adding that it has become imperative to promote both new and existing instruments for the optimization of this sector.
The GMD thereafter reiterated that NGX Group is more committed than ever to supporting efforts aimed at stimulating economic growth by providing platforms for businesses and individuals to raise capital through innovation, diversified products and services, enabling a regulatory environment, which will in turn unlock value for stakeholders.