A former governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke, has called on Federal Government to compel banks to reduce the interest rate to the barest minimum to make credit available and affordable for small businesses.
Duke made the call at the 5th anniversary of Political Forum G50, with the theme: “Blueprint For Sustainable Economic Development” held on Saturday in Lagos State.
According to Duke, the Nigerian banking industry is a major obstacle to sustainable economic development because of about 25 per cent interest being charged on loans to customers.
“If you want to grow an economy, you will have to ensure that credit is available and affordable.
“In Nigeria, credit is neither available nor affordable for the average Nigerian to start-up business because of the high-interest rate.
“Banks should be compelled to reduce their interest rates to the barest minimum to encourage entrepreneurship in a country where the population is growing at 3.5 per cent while the economy is growing under 2 per cent.
“As long as our population is growing faster than the economy is growing, we will remain in perpetual recession,” he said.