The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, has decried difficulties faced by Nigerians in accessing bank loans.
Dogara made this known in his keynote address at a launch of the book “Banking Reform in Nigeria” on Monday in Abuja.
He said that Nigerians were discouraged in managing their businesses as a result of their inability to access loans from banks.
“I have had cause to say this before, that unless you have assets or equipment, there is no way you can take a loan, or access loans from Nigerian banks to do business.
“If you are not careful in taking loans from Nigerian banks, one will just end up in the poverty gap.
“I don’t think our citizens are supposed to do their businesses with money they already have in their pockets. Businesses elsewhere are executed by loans from the banking industry in those countries.
“I don’t know why the interest rate in Nigeria is so high. What is it that we can do to lower it so that our young entrepreneurs can take money from our financial institutions in order to realize their dreams.
“That has been the challenge, from the point of view of the Executive down to the Parliament, the ‘political will’ to address this has not been there,” he said.
He, therefore, called on all stakeholders to join hands in ensuring improved banking institutions for better development.
“And the answer has always been that just one opinion cannot solve the issue, all hands need to work at it.