El-Rufai said the CBN stood to lose its power to set lending rates for commercial banks unless it addressed the situation immediately.
Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai, has lamented the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) current fiscal direction, saying that the bank's 14 per cent monetary policy rate has led to extensive job losses in the country.
El-Rufai said the CBN stood to lose its power to set lending rates for commercial banks unless it addressed the situation immediately, adding that only unscrupulous elements could successfully operate under the present fiscal direction.
“We have a Central Bank that has an MPR at —what?— 14 per cent and banks' lending at 20 percent. Only traders and drug dealers can make money at this interest rate.
“I have said it before and I will repeat it again, unless the Central Bank and the banking system make a conscious decision to bring interest rate down, one day we would legislate it,” El-Rufai said, according to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek.
El-Rufai's comments came at a special edition roundtable organized by Women in Business, a non-profit women advocacy organization in Abuja.
The Kaduna State governor dismissed the CBN's perennial reason for increasing the interest rate, using the "B" word to express his dismay, the Nigeria CommunicationsWeek reports states.
“The rate of inflation in the UK is not 2 per cent or 1 per cent. It is 7-8 per cent. But lending rate is at what one percent. I think they cut the interest rate last week.
“All these theories that the rate of interest must be above the rate of inflation is economic [expletive],” El-Rufai said.
“We must decide that businesses should be able to borrow at the rate interest that makes sense and politically lower rates to that level.”
Professionals from all walks of life were present at the Women in Business roundtable and participants used the platform to share viable ideas and express challenges faced in running a successful business in Nigeria.