Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria, to reduce lending rate to about five per cent or lower, in other to encourage Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs).
Ambode, said it is time for the government to review policies that inhibit growth, as well as come up with an efficient low-cost financial system that will work for all Nigerian.
He contended that for Nigeria to meet its growth ambitions and achieve full economic potential, concerted efforts must be made to create at least four million jobs annually, while jettisoning policies that stifle development.
The governor challenged the CBN, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC), commercial banks and other players to decide the type of policy that would really impact on employment and bring more people into the formal financial system.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the opening session of the 9th Annual Bankers’ Committee Retreat of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said the theme of the retreat, ‘Improving Financial Access, Enabling Job Creation and Driving Inclusive Growth in Nigeria’, was apt.
He noted that all hands must be on deck to create more jobs for the people and ensure 6.7 per cent annual growth rate.
Responding to an earlier comment by the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on the inability of the Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) to access the N200b fund earmarked for them, Ambode said the easiest way to achieve same was to reduce the lending rate to about five per cent or lower.
At the state level, he added, his administration created the Employment Trust Fund through which about N10b had been disbursed to the MSMEs at five per cent with over 6,000 benefiting so far. He tasked the CBN to replicate such at the federal level.