High interest rates will kill the economy, warns ACF


John Shiklam in Kaduna

Pan-Nordic socio-political organization Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) said the high interest rate under the current regime would kill the Nigerian economy if nothing is done to stop the situation.

Ogbeh, a former minister of agriculture and rural development, said the country had experienced the most outrageous interest rate a developing country could afford in the past three decades.

ACF National President Chief Audu Ogbeh expressed this concern in a statement yesterday, while congratulating General President Muhammadu Buhari on his presentation of the 2022 budget forecast.

Ogbeh said the situation was concerning and warned that unless and until something pragmatic is done, the Nigerian economy will not experience real growth.

The president of the ACF declared: “I congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari on his presentation of the budget forecasts for the financial year 2022.

“The Forum appreciates the will and commitment of its administration to take action to expand and materialize the infrastructure base without which economic growth would be a mirage.

“We also want to congratulate the government on the new nationwide attack on bandits and criminals.
“We are concerned, however, that no mention has been made of the interest rate issue.

“For nearly three decades, we have suffered the most outrageous interest rates a developing country can afford.

“How can we continue to speak lip service on the vital issue of the growth of SMEs, the prosperity of the young generation if we make it impossible for them to access credit.”

“We appreciate the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) but regret to say that these efforts will not solve the problem while commercial banks are still charging 27 to 30 percent. What kind of business is someone going to do with such interest rates?

“We wish to caution this unless. Until we hastily put in place a mechanism to deal with the current national tragedy where our children have resolved that the fastest way to their personal economic recovery is kidnapping, we believe the Nigerian economy cannot experience real growth if access to reasonable credit is forever blocked, ”the forum said in a statement.

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