The House of Representatives on Thursday decried what it called high interest rates being charged on loans by banks in the country.
Leading the debate on a motion entitled: ‘Call for regulation of lending interest rate charged by commercial banks’, a member, Mr. Bode Ayorinde, said urgent measures needed to be taken to reduce the rate to a single digit.
He listed the benchmark interest rate in some countries as of July this year to buttress his argument that Nigeria’s was high.
Ayorinde stated that Italy was charging 1.56 per cent; Canada, 0.05 per cent; Japan, 0.00 per cent; United Kingdom, 0.50 per; United States, 25 per cent; China, 4.85 per cent; and South Africa, 6.00 per cent.
In a separate resolution, the house summoned the Minister of Labour/Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, and the Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika, over the decision of Virgin Atlantic Airways to lay off its Nigerians crew members and other employees.
Both ministers, along with the top management officials of the airline, are to appear before the House’s joint Committees on Aviation, Labour/Employment “within 48 hours” to explain the circumstances surrounding the sacking of the Nigerians.
The resolution followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by the Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila.
Gbajabiamila recalled that the airline took the action, ignoring a pending resolution of the House advising it to stay action, while its Committee on Aviation investigated the issue.
He said, “Virgin Atlantic went ahead to dismiss hundreds of Nigerians in a bid to pre-empt the final resolution of the House on this matter.
“But, this is one issue that must test our ability as a House to protect our citizens; we have laws in this country and any company doing business here should be prepared to do so by our laws.”
The motion received unanimous support by members at Thursday’s plenary, which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.