An Abuja-based NGO, Female Entrepreneurial Empowerment Network International (FEENI), says high interest rate has retarded entrepreneurial growth and increases unemployment in the country.
Dr Cally Cussons, President of FENNI, said in an interview in Abuja on Tuesday that high interest rate was inimical to national development and entrepreneurial prosperity.
The NGO boss, who called on governments at all levels to review downward the interest rate, commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for advocating nine per cent interest rate.
“High interest rate is a big threat to the growth of entrepreneurship in Nigeria because it does not encourage business.
“I must commend CBN for trying to bring it down to at least nine per cent to leverage entrepreneurship,’’ Cussons said.
He also urged government to address the issue of gross Value Added Tax (VAT) in the country, saying that it was a threat to business growth in Nigeria.
According to him, it is unfair for people to pay net VAT after buying a commodity and also pay another on the same commodity after sale.
Cussons restated the determination of the NGO to promote self- sufficiency in Nigeria through women empowerment, saying that they had mentored no fewer than 5,000 women in the area of self-reliance.
He described FENNI as a platform to encourage women’s entrepreneurial empowerment and called for the provision of enabling infrastructure by government that would enhance business growth.
Cussons explained that women could subscribe to his NGO’s online Smart Women Entrepreneurial Programme (SWEP) for entrepreneurial mentorship and employment.
He described women as resilient and confident entrepreneurs, necessary for economic stability and development of any economy. (NAN)