CENTS Features at the Official Launching of Nigerian Stock Brokers Agribusiness Group (NSBAG)
The official launching of NSBAG was hosted at the IITA Guest House, 7, Wemco Road, off Lateef Jakande Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos on Dec. 7, 2017. NSBAG is a new growing group emerging from the Nigerian Stock Broker Association focusing on Agribusiness Capital Market in Nigeria. The launch of NSBAG movement, dubbed as a handshake between agriculture/ agribusiness practitioners and the core private sector capitalists, the Nigerian stockbrokers. The new movement shall work to change the situation of agribusiness for good in Nigeria and Africa. It is opined that the future of agribusiness would change with the emergence of NSBAG. The movement will turn around and reshape the nation’s economy. Corporate Farmers International Ltd (CFIL) had a dream to develop the nation’s economy through agribusiness in collaboration with institutions like IITA, Agricultural Society of Nigeria, FIIRO, NSE, etc.
The keynote address was delivered by Engr Prof. Babatunde A. Adewumi, a Professor of Food Engineering and Director, Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria. Other dignitaries who graced the occasion included:
- Kwesi Atta-Krah, Director, Country Alignment and System Integration, IITA – Chairman of the occasion;
- Representative of CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema, OON ;
- Fredrick Schreurs, CEO of IITA’s Business Incubation Platform;
- Tunde Sobamowo, Chairman of NSBAG;
- Chief Patrick Ezeagu, President, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON);
- Sam Wily Ndata, Doyen of the stockbrokers, ably represented by Mr. Ola Oyeniyi;
- Abiola Ogundeko, Chairperson, NACCIMA Youth Group;
- Tunde Oyediran, Vice chairman of NSBAG;
- Prince Ade Ajayi, National Coordinator, Corporate Farmers International Ltd (CFIL).
- Akin Alabi, Managing Partner of CFIL;
- Solomon Kugbe, Secretary General, NSBAG.
Chairman’s Opening Remarks
The Chairman, Dr. Kwesi Atta-Krah, Director, Country Alignment and System Integration, IITA, made a strong case for transformation of the age-old unattractive ‘culture of agriculture’ to a regime of attractive businesses, where investors from the private sector, including the youth, can stake their resources in its value chain. He confirms that this transformation can generate jobs for the youth and create wealth for the middle class and the investing public. He disclosed that this concept is currently being spearheaded by IITA through a unit called Business Incubation Platform (BIP), where agricultural research results are packaged and transformed into business streams suitable for local production and processing products for export markets. Moreover, there is a unit focused at the youth, tagged Youth in Agriculture, where ‘agriculture is cool’. He cautioned that the dream of the NSBAG initiative must not be allowed to die.
Presentation of NSBAG
Mr. Tunde Sobamowo, Chairman of NSBAG, made a presentation on the core purpose of the new Nigeria Stock Brokers Agribusiness Group movement, and its readiness to work with the private sector and the three tiers of government – local, state and federal to attain food security and steady growth of the country’s GDP. He disclosed that the movement came up with the partnership of Corporate Farmers International Limited (CFIL) and Stock Brokers of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). He acknowledged the founding fathers of the movement and asked them to rise up to take a bow. They are Mr. Bayo Ajadi, Mr. Tunde Oyediran, and Mr. Solomon Olakanmi Kugbe. Mr. Sobamowo dwells on the cardinal role of stock brokers in the provision of cheap, long-term finance for various segments of business enterprises – small, medium, and large companies. The platform of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is also appropriately positioned for the three tiers of enterprises through its Alternate Securities Market (ASEM), the Main Board, and the Premium Board listings, respectively. He assured that the propelling purpose of the newly formed NSBAG is to prepare companies engaged in agribusiness to be qualified to access the readily available capital market funding so as to lift up agriculture to its rightful place where it can generate employment for our teeming youth and create wealth for investors in consonance with the goals of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). Members shall work with other stakeholders to actualize this lofty goal, he assured.
The keynote address was presented by Engr. Prof. Babatunde A. Adewumi on the title ‘Transformation of Agribusiness in Nigeria: Capital Market Inclusion and Dynamics’. Prof. Adewumi is a Professor of Food Engineering and Director, Centre of Entrepreneurship Studies, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. The 40-slides power-point well researched, keynote address emphasised that the growth of agribusiness is imperative for food security, job creation for our teeming youth, industrial inputs, export earnings, economic diversification & growth, and wealth creation in Nigeria and Africa. If these desirables are to be attained, all the stakeholders must know and perform their roles appropriately, and corruption must be expunged from our national and private lives. Moreover, the dynamics of agribusiness and the capital market must be substantially explored for the necessary capital intermediation required for growth on large scale level.
- The goodwill message was presented by Dayo Adeyemi, representative of Mr. Oscar Onyema, OON, CEO of NSE. He expressed the appreciation of the NSE’s management at the launch of NSBAG and its readiness to work with all the stakeholders to achieve the movement’s core purpose, using the fund raising platform of the NSE at ASEM, the Main Board, or the Premium Board to access the needed capital for the actualization of the agribusiness goal.
- Abiola Ogundeko, Chairperson of NACCIMA Youth Group on Youth, ICT & Agriculture expressed the goodwill message from Iyalode Alaba Lawson, the Chairperson of the Nigerian Associations of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Manufacturers and Agriculture (NACCIMA). Though from architectural and ICT background, he is strongly committed to agriculture, especially the involvement of Nigerian youths. He assured of NACCIMA’s readiness to work with NSBAG so as to attain the core purpose of the movement, urging NSBAG to ’walk its talk’.
Chief Patrick Ezeagu, President, ASHON expressed the glowing appreciation of the Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) to the NSBAG’s initiative, saying this movement dovetails into the Lagos Commodity Trading Exchange initiative currently being spearheaded by ASHON through an initial private placement of N50billion take-off capital. He is of the view that this new movement will have tremendous impact on agribusiness, the capital market and the national economy as whole. He reiterated the chairman’s view that this lofty initiative be not left to die after this launch. This can only be done by getting into action immediately after the launch.
- Fredrick Schreurs, CEO, Business Incubation Platform (BIP), IITA informed the gathering of profit-making agribusiness schemes at IITA through BIP. This is a business incubation platform where funds can be committed to production of agricultural ventures for handsome returns. He rolled out the various levels of returns that can be made on sets of investment outlays, based on risk/return interplay. There is also an Out-growers Scheme for ‘youth in agriculture’; these are a new set of educated farmers. He emphasized that if agribusiness is handled well, Nigeria would stop importation, create jobs, and start earn substantial foreign exchange, going forward. He pleaded with NSBAG and the entire private sector to “let’s create a profitable portfolio using the great experience of IITA”.
- Participants from Financial Institutions: Mr. Bolaji Oladapo from Union Bank of Nigeria Plc’s Agric Unit & Mrs. Nwakego and Mr. Onasanya, both of Diamond Bank Plc. Agric. Financing Desk] – These banking representatives brought their goodwill messages to the official launch of NSBAG. They expressed their banks’ assurances of their readiness to fund qualified agribusiness proposals, through CBN agricultural intervention funds, and/or bank funds. Reacting to a comment that many banks are not providing enough funding to agriculture/agribusiness, they said it depends on the risk profile of the proposal/project. If they are well packaged and are credit worthy, funding would be made available, they assured.
Doyen of Stock Remarks
The Doyen of Stock brokers, Mr. Sam Wily Ndata, represented by Mr. Ola Oyeniyi, expressed his joy at the launch of such a great initiative at a time like this. He reiterated the need to set out to work immediately so as to achieve the desired goals.
- NACCIMA Youth Leader & NSBAG Secretary: After an intimate interaction, it was agreed that NACCIMA will source for private sector investors for viable projects and business proposals emanating from NSBAG;
- Probity Farming (Agriculture Software Professional) & NSBAG Secretary: It was agreed that both bodies would work together on relevant agric/agribusiness APPs and software so as to modernize Nigeria’s agribusiness space;
- Maritime First Newspaper & NSBAG Secretary: Since information is key, NSBAG will work closely with Maritime First Newspaper, which also focuses on agriculture and agribusiness coverage and reporting, so as to ventilate the relevant stakeholders about key programs and plans of NSBAG;
- Fredrick Shreurs, BIP, IITA & NSBAG Secretary & Vice Chairman: Fredrick and the two NSBAG executives discussed at length about the investment opportunities abound at BIP, IITA, and it was agreed that an early visit to IITA’s office at Ibadan for a first-hand discussion and assessment would be imperative. Such investment opportunities would be analyzed, packaged appropriately, and proposed to some target investors.
Chairman’s Closing Remarks
Dr. Kwesi Atta-Krah, IITA expressed his appreciation for the turnout of various persons and organizations to make the launch such a great success. He reiterated that we must not allow the dream of the NSBAG movement to die.