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Africa's biggest oil producer, Nigeria, plans to offer up to 20% of its crude oil production for trading on its commodities exchange, Akinsola Akeredolu-Ale, the chief executive of the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange, told Bloomberg in an interview published on Friday.

The official didn't elaborate on when the exchange's first-ever crude trading would begin.

The goal of the launch of crude oil trading is to expand access to financing for the oil and gas industry, on which Nigeria relies for most of its foreign currency income.

The Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange is working with the local Securities and Exchange Commission to meet requirements for trading of crude, the exchange's CEO said.

"The consideration is that 10 to 20% of Nigeria's crude oil production be provisioned for trading on the floor of the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange," Akeredolu-Ale told Bloomberg.

Currently, the five most popular commodities traded on the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange are gold, paddy rice, cashew, cocoa, and sesame seed.

OPEC member Nigeria aims to boost its crude oil production in the coming months and years.

Oil theft and pipeline vandalism have long plagued Nigeria's upstream oil and gas industry, driving majors out of the country and often resulting in force majeure at the key crude oil export terminals.

Nigerian oil production has started to recover in recent months and hit in February its highest level in more than three years amid a concerted effort to crack down on targeted attacks and organized theft rings.

Earlier this week, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) said that Nigeria's crude oil reserves had increased by 1 billion barrels while natural gas reserves have jumped by 2.573 trillion cubic feet (TCF). As of January 1, 2024, Nigeria's combined proven reserves of crude oil and condensate stood at 37.50 billion barrels, while the reserves of associated natural gas and non-associated gas stood at 209.26 trillion cubic feet, said NUPRC's chief executive Gbenga Komolafe.

By Charles Kennedy for

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Charles Kennedy

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