Vanguard (Lagos)

29 January 2014

Nigeria: FG to Complete Sale of Abuja Exchange June

The Federal Government has said the proposed sale of the Abuja Securities and Commodities Exchange will be completed by June this year.

The director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Arunma Oteh, who disclosed this in Abuja noted that the government's earlier commitment to complete the privatisation exercise by the end of last year could not hold, as it was unable to meet the deadline.

According to Oteh, "the government wants to privatise the only commodity exchange and it had committed to doing it by the end of last year. It didn't meet that deadline, but it's planning to do something by the middle of 2014."

"We have a number of both domestic and international players, who are very interested," Oteh said. "They would rather acquire the privatised exchange, so they're trying to see how far the government is going with this initiative and if not, they are prepared to seek a registration for a new commodity exchange," she added.

The Abuja commodities exchange was converted from a stock exchange to a commodities market in 2001 and has information on crops traded dated January 2008.

Heirs Holdings Chairman, Tony Elumelu, wants to acquire the state-owned Abuja-based exchange when it is sold, he said in an interview last month. If it's unable to buy the exchange, Heirs Holdings will apply to the SEC to set one up, he had said.

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