|Stock market rebound: NAAEP canvasses interest rate reduction, Monday, 10 Apr 2012|
(Vanguard) Efforts geared towards repositioning the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for profitability and achieving the vision of making the nation hub of African exchanges will not materialize without effective reduction of interest rate, says Chief Temitope Labinjo Ajayi, Chairman, Nigeria American Agricultural Empowerment Programme Limited (NAAEP).According to her, besides, the move by the Federal Government to make the nation one of the top 20 economies by 2020 will continue to elude the nation without conscious effort to increase the standard of living of the populace and effecting a reduction in interest rate, especially for farmers.She said, "The Central Bank of Nigeria has a major role to play here. As the apex regulator of the banking sector, the CBN is in a better position to advice the government to cut interest rate to farmers to below what it is presently. The present 25 per cent banks are demanding from farmers is capable of eroding confidence in investment in the sector."The move by the government will help in bringing about faster rebound in the capital market as well as reduce poverty which has eaten dip into the fabrics," adding that the high interest rate is affecting investible income to the capital market from the sector.
It will be recall that government provisions of funds to the Small Scale Entrepreneurs have been worrisome in recent times as most end users could barely access the fund either from the banks or the Bank of Industry that were expected to act as intermediary between the government and SME's. She noted that for a country with about 99 million hectares of uncultivated arable land, coupled with huge human capital, if well harnessed is capable of helping to reduce the shortage of food in the country. It will be recall that NAAEP had commenced the establishment of an agricultural settlement with the construction of 100 units of farm houses for beneficiaries. Under the first phase of the project, the firm has started construction work on 20 units of one-bedroom flats at its farm settlement at Igboye Town in Eredo Local Development Area in Epe Division, Lagos State. According to Labinjo Ajayi, the first phase of the project would be completed in about two months while the 20-unit pilot scheme will be in five blocks as four units will be in a block and the four units will share the same sitting room. She said despite the four units using the sitting room as a common room, a block will consists of modern facilities and conveniences.
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