By Oluwafunke Ishola
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to drop the lending rate from 14 per cent to accelerate productivity and economic growth.
The President of MAN, Mr Frank Jacobs, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.
NAN recalls that CBN had maintained a 14 per cent lending rate to commercial banks since July 26, 2016 in its bid to check inflation and stimulate economic growth.
Jacobs urged the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee to review the lending rate downward at its next meeting slated for May 22 and 23.
According to him, the high interest rate regime had stifled growth, productivity and competitiveness of manufacturers.
He noted that with the appreciation of the naira and further drop in inflation rate, friendlier policies that would stimulate economic growth and boost production should be embraced.
Jacobs also urged CBN to create five per cent concessionary interest rate for manufacturers to drive the nation’s diversification agenda and increase contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.
“If manufacturers have access to low interest rate as done in other climes, we will be able to employ more people and create wealth for the nation through tax,” he said.
Jacobs said that with concessionary interest rate, manufacturers would be able to expand their businesses, create wealth, boost productivity and catalyse economic transformation.