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Published On: Thu, Jun 12th, 2014

Govt should divests public funds in commercial banks

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By Patrick Andrew

If the recommendation of the National Conference for the federal government to divest its funds from the commercial banks sails through, major banks may soon face massive withdrawals of public funds in its vaults.

Delegates yesterday voted in favour of the divestment while voting to adopt recommendations proposed by the Committee for Trade and Investment and the amendments made on the floor during the debates.

The Hajia Bola Shagaya-led committee had argued that commercial banks relied more on public funds from the government and are not working hard enough to generate funds through core economic ventures.

It therefore urged the conference to rise up against commercial’s reliance on cheap money while still imposing unbearable interest rate on Nigerians, thereby denying them access to funds for development and investments at affordable rates.

Delegates were of the view that banks have tended to depend heavily on the public funds to do business, pay little or interest while taxing the state heavily without creating the necessary leverage for industrial development.

They also frowned at the excessive profit margins of most of the commercial banks while manufacturing companies that deprived of funds for suffer economic crunch to the detrimental of the development and empowerment of the youth.

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