By Dikachi Franklin, in Owerri
Iyalode Alaba Lawson, president of the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI) and the outgoing president of the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), says that deposit money banks and other financial institutions engaged in lending money to manufacturers and entrepreneurs in the country should do so at single digit interest rate.
“Well, banks have not been helping the industrial sector of this country to attain real growth; manufacturers and entrepreneurs are not finding it easy with the banks, businessmen and women can’t grow their businesses the way they want because the banks have failed the industrial sector.
“And for businesses to thrive we need one digit interest rate from banks; loan should be given at one digit interest rate to entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.”
She went on, “Banks have not been helping at all because the interest rate is too high and when the interest rate is too high you cannot get the best from your business. If you are charged 23-25 percent interest rate you cannot grow, and it cannot help you. The only interest rate that can help the industrial sector is only a single rate and the duration of payment must be a long term one”.
Alaba Lawson spoke in an interview with our correspondent in Owerri, during the official inauguration/Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), Financial Literacy workshops of NAWORG, held in Owerri Imo state, recently.
According to her, the slow growth recorded in the industrial sector is partly attributable to the financial institutions’ failure, especially the deposit money banks, to lend to entrepreneurs at a single digit interest rate, and she urged the banks to find ways whereby they can start to lend at single digit interest rate.
NACCIMA president, whose tenure would likely elapse this month, said that she never had serious challenges as the president, because she came to the office with a focus and has been performing her duties with a focused attention.
“I have no challenges, all you need to do is to work according to your focus and then your vision, then everything works well, and I have a good legacy for our organization, to be the foremost voice of the organized private sector (OPS) in Nigeria,” she said.
She disclosed that the results of her almost two years in office have been outstanding as “NACCIMA is now widely recognized both locally and internationally as the voice of Nigerian business; again, it has regained its enviable position as the foremost leader of Nigeria’s organized private sector (OPS)”.
Since her tenure, NACCIMA has continued to improve on its advocacy activities, and has signed so many local and international partnership agreements. It has also participated in many local and international events which have contributed to the growth of the Nigerian economy.
During her administration NACCIMA participated in the United Nations General Assembly Mining Road Show held in Melbourne and Perth Australia, Africa Down Under in Perth and in the Nigeria Mining Week of 2018.
NACCIMA launched its NACCIMA Debit Identification Card which was done in collaboration with Unity Bank and First Bank and NACCIMA is also undergoing successful certification through the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), etc.
Iyalode Alaba Lawson disclosed that she has inaugurated the NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneur, and “we have been able to move them with government agencies, individuals that can give them capacity buildings and turning them into entrepreneurs. They are joined with Tony Elumelu Group and all those are the areas where they use their talents to turn them into entrepreneurs,” she concluded.