Nigeria:Speaker Dogara Calls for Loan Accessibility, Interest Rate Review
The Speaker of the Nigeria House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara
The Speaker of the Nigeria House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, on Monday called for urgent review of the conditions for accessing loan and interest rate for the sake of business growth in Nigeria.
Mr Speaker who made the call while speaking at the launch of a book on banking reforms written by a member of the House of Representatives, Dr. Bode Ayorinde, representing Owo/Ose Federal Constituency, said, high lending rates and difficulties in accessing loans is affecting the growth of both business and entrepreneurship in the country
He said, “The challenge in the banking industry in Nigeria is such that it is organized in such a way that it creates buoyancy and development in other jurisdictions, not in Nigeria. I have had cause to say this before, that unless you have assets or equipment, there is no way you can take loans or access loans from Nigerian banks to do the business. If you are not careful in taking loans from Nigerian banks, one will just end up in the poverty gap.
“I don’t think our citizens are supposed to do their businesses with money they already have in their pockets. Businesses elsewhere are executed by loans by the banking industry in those countries. I don’t know why the interest rate in Nigeria is so high. What is it that we can do to lower the cost of funds in Nigeria, so that our young men, women and entrepreneurs can taking money from our financial institutions in order to realise their dreams?.
He queried the likelihood of success of business reforms in the country, in light of the fact that loans remain largely inaccessible to those who most require such financial aids to grow their businesses.
“I love the fact that the Vice President is chairing the council on the ease of doing business in Nigeria but in dealing with most businesses, you are forced to ask what business are we doing? How do we fund these businesses?
“That has been the challenge, from the point of view of the Executive down to the Parliament, the political will to address this has not been there. And the answer has always been that just one opinion cannot solve the issue, all hands need to work at it. We cannot afford to continue having weak institutions in Nigeria, not after so many years of having balance.
“So I believe that concerning some of these borrowing voyages such as been embarked upon recently can be avoided by applying the required formulas that work even here in Nigeria. The sharp parallel that is drawn between the practice here in Nigeria and the practices in over 20 other jurisdictions of the world.
The Speaker called on all stakeholders to work together to strengthen the various institutions within the country in line with international best practices.