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As the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE) warms up for inauguration, stockbrokers have re-affirmed support for the pan African Exchange as a major platform that will raise the bar for the Nigeria’s financial system.

The second endorsement, in less than one year, was the focal point at the breakfast meeting, organized by the management of LCFE for senior stockbrokers at the weekend in Lagos. Stockbrokers had in April last year unanimously passed a vote of confidence in LCFE.

Re-affirming support of the senior stockbrokers for the new Exchange, the Chairman, NASD Plc, Mr Tola Mobolurin declared that stockbrokers had collectively endorsed LCFE to commence operation. He emphasized the essence of investor confidence in the market through quality service delivery and advised the company’s management to uphold professionalism in order to sustain investor confidence.

Corroborating him, the second Vice President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Mr Oluwole Adeosun stated that stockbrokers formed the core of ownership of LCFE and assured the management of continuous support of the Institute. According to him, the Institute runs a specialist programme in Commodities Trading, indicating symbiotic relationship between the two entities.

Earlier his welcome address, the LCFE’s Chairman, Chief Oyinyechukwu Ezeagu explained that stockbrokers were major stakeholders in the commodities market, hence, the need to keep them abreast of every development: “ The stockbrokers are the major players in This Exchange. Without you trading, it would be very difficult if not impossible to operate. We have taken the special interest to invite you to have a full understanding of what LCFE stands for and how you will be playing an important role in our success “, Ezeagu said.

Speaking on “Driving the Nigerian Commodities Ecosystem through the Commodities Exchanges “, the Chief Economist/Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Nigeria, Dr Andrew Nevin identified unanimity of price and product quality on the commodities exchange and physical market, regulatory environment, deployment of relevant technology and bringing all participants together as critical issues that can determine the success of the market. According to him, any commodities exchange that fail to uphold the sanctity of the variables cannot survive as a business.

The Managing Partner, B. Adedipe and Associates, Dr Biodun Adedipe thrilled participants with his paper titled “Market Confidence: The Role of Stakeholders”, took a swipe at top government functionaries that indulge in the use of unguarded statements that often weaken investor confidence in the market. Adedipe also urged the capital market regulators to live up to expectations and challenged every stakeholder to ensure transparency, compliance, competitiveness, and a high sense of responsibility to promote the financial market.

The LCFE’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Akin Akeredolu-Ale who spoke extensively on the direction of the Exchange underlined its uniqueness as commodities exchange that will trade on fungible assets rather than pre-occupy itself with warehouse operations.

“ Our business model is to trade fungible assets. We have carefully selected globally acceptable operators in various fields. Our core business is to trade electronic receipts.The receipts must be signed off by relevant agents before trading. We are not out to operate warehouses. We have certification agents for warehouses to ensure global best practices. Our focus is on aggregators that already have certified warehouses. We shall engage with all members in the ecosystem.”, Akeredolu-Ale said.

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