May 29: High returns on Treasury Bills pose threat to productive activities

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The high returns on treasury bills and Federal Government bonds are having negative effects on productive activities in the country.

Mr Muda Yusuf, Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said this while assessing President Muhammadu Buhari’s two years administration at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Lagos on Sunday.

NAN reports that returns on treasury bills range from 15 percent to 18 percent depending on their tenor.

Yusuf noted that the high returns were discouraging investors from putting their money in productive activities considering the risks and challenges of the business environment.

The director general said that many investors preferred investing in treasury bills and bonds because they were not risky, tax-free and with high returns.

According to him, commercial banks that are supposed to be lending to the manufacturers are also investing in treasury bills.

He, however, advised promoters of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to make their businesses more attractive to secure bank loans.

Yusuf said only few SME operators could access bank loans because of the stringent collateral requirements, adding that even the N220 billion intervention fund from the central bank was also inaccessible because of the requirements.

He stressed the need for the country to look inward by patronising said locally made products and stop importing foreign consumables to stimulate economic growth.

The LCCI boss said that the CBN should be more keen about taming inflation and bank lending rates.

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