Baobab Microfinance Bank Task FG on Interest Rate, Tax Incentives
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Baobab Nigeria, Dr. Kazeem Olanrewaju, has called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency formulate fiscal policies aimed at reducing interest rate in the country.
He added that the recent hike in the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from 11.5 per cent to 13 per cent would make cost of fund within the financial sector expensive.
Olanrewaju stated this on the sidelines of bank’s customers’ forum 2022 in Lagos over the weekend.
“It is time for the apex bank to formulate policies to reduce interest rates, make loan cheaper for willing entrepreneurs across the country to create employment opportunities. Maybe if people can access loans faster and cheaper, the issue of kidnapping, banditry and insecurity would subside,” he said.
In his words: “The government is an enabler and they need to play that role to stimulate economic activities in the country where people will be gainfully employed that would translate to economic prosperity to the lives of the citizens.”
The Baobab boss also charged economic managers to focus on creating tax incentives to encourage a lot of investors that are going to support the economy.
According to him, the current economic situation in Nigeria needs urgent intervention to achieve accelerated economic growth and development.
He added that banditry and kidnapping are scaring of local and foreign investors, pointing out the urgent need for federal government to attract investors with tax incentives.
“You need to put something on the table such as tax incentives. In the context of what is happening in Nigeria, we need new ways of creating economic opportunities to make Nigeria a destination for investment,” he stated.
“The confidence that people have in the economy needs to increase and part of the reasons why we are probably having a lot of devaluation in the country is that, a lot of people who really do not need foreign exchange are hoarding it and we also need to reassure the people that the economy is robust to gain back investors’ confidence,” he added.
He also tasked the federal government to make available a pool of cheap funds to support the microfinance subsector.
“Maybe accessing funds is not the problem, the cost of the fund might be the problem, so the government needs to also look at that area to make funds cheaper for entrepreneurs, maybe risk bearing with the banks.
There are so many things that can be done. Create the enabling environment for the private sector, put something on the table and then you would see people show interest in the economy” he stated.
Speaking on the customer forum, he said is an event organised annually in each of the regions to interact with its customers in a bid to get customer feedbacks.