NIGERIA – AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited (AFEX), a leading commodity exchange company in Nigeria, has secured new investment from Consonance Investment Managers, a Sub-Saharan Africa focused early-stage and growth investment firm.

The fund will be used to increase liquidity of the commodity markets and strengthen the firm’s operations and technology systems.

In a statement, the company explained that with more participation in the sector, more innovative products will be listed over time.

This according to AFEX, will translate to growth in Nigeria’s capital market and increased funds being directed towards the agricultural sector in the country.

AFEX said it will ease the access of retail and institutional investors to the commodity markets in Nigeria by deploying its established infrastructure to securitize agricultural products, ensuring efficient and transparent clearing and settlement.

AFEX Chief Executive Officer, Ayodeji Balogun said: “We are delighted to welcome Consonance Investment Managers as partners on this journey.”

“The future requires AFEX to provide our infrastructure as a service to the market and unlock capital for the agriculture sector in Nigeria.”

Balogun also noted that AFEX will grow its operations 10-fold over the next five years.

“we also aspire to increase funding to agriculture in Nigeria from about N500 billion (US$1.5 billion) to more than N2 trillion (US$ 7.5 billion) by 2025,” added Balogun.

Managing Partner at Consonance Investment Managers, Mobolaji Adeoye, said: “We are proud to support Ayodeji and the AFEX team in their mission to transform Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

“AFEX has established the infrastructure which will undergird Nigeria’s food security agenda and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s economic diversification programme.

It will also be vital in deepening capital markets in line with the mission of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria”.

Adeoye noted that this key part of AFEX’s operations requires the deployment of funds towards market sensitisation, training and product development.

To support the growth and stability of its systems, AFEX noted that it will continue to build out technology solutions that support traceability.

This entails covering activities all the way from the financial inclusion of producers, through the outreach operations, and AFEX’s warehouse receipt system, to a trading platform that fosters shared prosperity between producers, processors and investors.