Lagos State Governor , Akinwunmi Ambode, and other states from Kebbi and Jigawa states, Badaru Abubakar and Atiku Bagudu, as well as the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, on Saturday, asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to introduce a lower interest rate in order to create jobs for economic growth.
They also said players in the agriculture and micro, medium and small enterprises segments of the economy must access loans below five per cent interest rate to enable the country to achieve its economic diversification goal.
They spoke at the 9th Bankers’ Committee Annual Retreat which had in attendance the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the chief executive officers of the 24 commercial banks in the country, as well as other key stakeholders in the financial services industry.
Ambode said, “We need a lower interest rate to reflate the economy and create jobs for our people. We in Lagos State have created an employment fund that is giving loans at five per cent. Nine per cent for the MSMEs fund is still higher.
“So, while all of you are focused on how the digital revolution is affecting financial services, I want to challenge you today to go faster. We need the CBN and the NIDC to work together with the banks and other players in the system to bring more people into the formal financial system.”
Ogbeh, who commended the CBN for the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, said there was a need to do more, citing examples of countries where farmers obtained loans at three per cent and zero per cent.
Abubakar and Bagudu also praised the CBN for the N45bn released to farmers in the states but stressed the need to reduce the interest rates.
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )