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Chamber advocates single digit interest rate facilities for real sector


nairaProffers leeway on economic summit
The President, Sapele Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Prince David Iweta has urged the Federal Government to create new investment windows to support activities in the real sector as part of efforts to realise the diversification objective.

According to the chamber, empowering development finance institutions and exploring options provided by venture capitalists would further aid the provision of adequate financing needed for the growth of the real sector.

At six per cent interest rate, the chamber noted that the financing initiative would improve job creation and aid the revival of moribund factories in the country.

Addressing a press conference in Lagos on Monday, Iweta said: “The call for National Economic Summit at a critical period of our nation at this time is overdue, yet it must not be patterned along the lines of previous economic summit and forum that routinely end up as toothless bull dogs and paper tigers, where government officials, local/foreign consultants and resource persons smile to their banks after each events.

“It is time for the federal and state governments to deliberately, as a matter of urgency summon courage to create investment windows by attracting capital flow of minimum of N150billion (USD750m) as loan-able funds for the private sector of each of the 36 states of the Federation

“The biggest enemy of our economy are the Deposit Money Banks that never demonstrate confidence in the Nigerian economy by practically not lending to the real sector of the economy because they do not have long tenured deposits. They lend only for imports of 30-90days, government contracts and forex round tripping with indiscriminate and unmerited bank charges to declaring huge annual paper profit that never culminate to investing in long term projects.

“The Federal Government should not be carried away that there are shovels of investors that have catapulted to being the richest persons on our land yet the economy is sinking owing to government failure in providing level playing field to all operators in same sectors. It is a security threat to an economy to allow a single or few persons to produce and control the prices of essential commodities and other basic necessities of life for over 170million people”.

He stated further that, “with President Muhammadu Buhari being desirous of providing mass employment to eradicate the huge army of unemployed working class, the state approach concept should be applied. Each State should host her State Economic Summit originating from Local Government Councils targeting 500,000 jobs per year with investment of N150billion (US$750m), irrespective of size and population of each state. With collaborative effort of the organized private sector and funds offered at six per cent interest rate yearly, 54million people will be gainfully employed”.

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