Senator Victor Oyofo last week, described high interest rate charged by commercial banks as the bane of industrial development in Nigeria.
Oyofo, who made this disclosure at the official opening of the 9th Abuja international trade fair last week, also called for the ban on importation of generators, alleging that the importers are sabotaging the economy.
The trade fair, which started last week, is scheduled to end on October 6th.
Expressing concern that the high interest rate on loan was a major challenge that slowed down the nation’s development, Oyofo expressed worry that a lot of small businesses had died due to the high interests charged on loans they obtained from different banks.
He queried: “How could our economy grow when people had to pay so much interest before they could get loans from the banks in order to invest? Truly, many investors are scared to go to the Nigerian banks to borrow money.
“This is because when they remember the huge interest that they would pay on the loan they are taking, they would be deterred to go and borrow from banks,” he said.
Oyofo stated further: “There are many things that border me on the interest rate the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) demands from the commercial banks that collects loans from it. And if we are talking of industrial development in the country, we should ask ourselves how much interest rate does CBN charges before it gives loans to commercial banks.”
He reasoned that if the CBN was charging about two per cent as its interest, it would still make more money from commercial banks and many people would be willing to borrow.
He called on governments at all levels and stakeholders in the agricultural sector to focus on the sector in order to produce raw materials and food for the nation’s teeming population.
The Senator also charged the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) to ensure that governments address the problems of power inadequacy in the
He said it was time for the organisation were given autonomy by the federal government.
Oyofo, who accused manufacturers and importers of generator of sabotaging the nation’s energy sector, therefore, called for ban on importation of generator stressing that “if the importation generators were not banned, our nation’s power development would not grow.”
He advised generator producers and importers to come and invest in the Nigerian energy sector.
Earlier the president of ABUCCIMA, Solomon Nyagba, in his address said the theme of this year’s fair is “Strengthening SMEs for Economic Growth.”
Nyagba explained that in order for Nigeria to develop economically, it should encourage SMEs as well as invest on its productive sector.
Abia State governor, Theodore Orji, who was the guest of honour at the occasion, enjoined the federal government to ensure that the interest rates charged by banks were reduced to enable
more investors to invest in the economy.
Orji who was represented by his Deputy, Chief Emeka Ananaba, also advised the federal government to focus its attention more on the SMEs to ensure fast industrialisation of the country.
Orji, also implored both the federal and state governments to ensure that Nigeria develop its own technology, rather than depending on foreigners, pointing out that this would delay the country’s industrialisation.