The Kaduna State governor Nasir el-Rufai has attacked the Central Bank’s 14% lending rate for contributing to economic decline.
“We have a Central Bank that has an MPR [Monetary Policy Rate – lending rate to banks] at — what? — 14% and banks lending at 20%. 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.”
He went on to claim: “The rate of inflation in the UK is not 2% or 1%. It is 7-8%. But lending rate is at what 1%. 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 bullshit.”
Actually, while acknowledging that Nasty Nas is right about very high interest rates in Nigeria and their destructive effect on the economy, he was blinding his audience at the Women in Business Roundtable in Abuja with “bullshit” rather than facts.
The current inflation rate in the UK is 0.4%. You would think that a state governor who is being touted as one of the brightest sparks in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a potential president, would at least try to get his facts right before jumping on his soapbox to attack the Central Bank. But then again, President Muhammadu Buhari has clearly demonstrated that ignorance is never a barrier to high office in Nigeria.