House of Reps charges banks to reduce lending rates

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By BLAISE UDUNZE

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has called on banks to drastically reduce their lending rates downwards in order to encourage more businesses to access loans and employ the teaming population of unemployed youths. He also encouraged bankers to imbibe the tenets of ethics and professionalism, and exhibit them while discharging their duties at all times.

The Speaker said this during stakeholders’ engagement and dialogue between the House of Representatives and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria at the National Assembly complex, Abuja. Also speaking at the occasion, Mr. Segun Aina, President/Chairman of Council, who led the Institute’s delegation, encouraged the National Assembly to fast-track the consideration and passage of the Nigerian Financial Ombudsman Bill;

Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act (AMCON amended); Nigerian International Financial Centre Bill; Consumer Credit & Regulatory Commission Bill; Banks and Other Financial Institutions Bill (Amended), the Electronic Transactions Bill among others.

He emphasized the need for the National Assembly to collaborate with the institute to organize a Seminar for members of the National Assembly on Banking & Finance Matters, similar to the Annual Seminar on Banking and Allied Matters for Judges which CIBN organizes in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute under the auspices of the Bankers Committee. Aina said that the House should strengthen the Land Use Act (to liberalise Land Tenure system in the country to make for easy mortgage & securitization of landed property).

He stressed the need for the House Committees to give adequate notice to the Institute and other relevant bodies to enable them make meaningful input to Bills and also attend public hearings. He express the readiness the CIBN to intervene on issues or misunderstandings between the National Assembly and any of its corporate members. He urged the Institute to address the issue of banks’ target -driven marketing. “It is not ethical and violates the human rights of bank staff, particularly the ladies”, he said. He assured CIBN President that the House of Representatives would work with the institute to address identified issues in the banking and finance industry.

The Hon. Speaker while expressing satisfaction with the level of the Institute’s collaboration with local and international organizations promised that ample and adequate notice would be given to the Institute and other professional bodies to make input into Bills and attend public hearings. He informed the institute that the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Bill (Amended) is on the floor of the House and encouraged it to follow-up with the Chairman, House Committee on Banking and Currency on the other pending Bills to ensure that they are concluded before 2015. He said that the House would support and facilitate the proposed amendment of the institute’s s Act No. 5 of 2007 if and when presented to it.

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