BANKS WILL NOT LEND TO REAL SECTOR, UNLESS INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVES
Hopes of early resumption of credit facilities to the real sector from the respective money deposit banks may, after all, be an effort in futility, as indications emerged at the weekend that unless the current deplorable state of infrastructure in the country is improved upon, the situation will not change.
This was the position of the former president of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPMN), Mr Oladimeji Alo, at the CIPMN National Officer Investiture Dinner, held in Lagos over the weekend.
Specifically, he said operators in the real sector of the economy spend huge chunks of their resources in providing infrastructure facilities that ought to be provided by government, which their contemporaries in other parts of the world take for granted.
The situation, he said, makes it extremely difficult for Nigerian manufacturers and their products to be competitive both in the local (their country of production) and in the international markets because the cost of production in Nigeria is far higher than that of their peers from other parts of the world who produce and subsequently sell at cheaper rates.
'That is the main reason why you discover that products from Europe, America and lately Asia countries are on the increase in Nigeria. It is far cheaper to buy products manufactured in these countries than buy the same type of product produced in Nigeria. The margin is just too wide' he said. As a way of addressing the lacuna,Alo gave kudus to the Central Bank Of Nigeria(CBN) for taking it upon itself to provide bailout fund for the real sector for the purpose of addressing the challenges associated with infrastructure deficit in that sector.
Besides, he said the CBN's gesture remained a way of assisting government to provide infrastructure which will in turn make it easy for banks to provide credit support for the real sector, adding that the current situation whereby manufacturers spend much of their profit margin in providing infrastructure cannot encourage any bank to lend to the sector.
The ex managing director of Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) maintained that since banks like other kind of business are established to make profit, no bank will thus be ready to lend to a business or sector that is not doing well and would not be able to repay at the agreed time. 'At this point, nobody should blame the banks for not lending to the real sector because they are being realistic.Moreover; the money that banks lend belongs to members of the investing public who in any case are not ready for disappointments when they need their money' he explained.
Earlier in his acceptance speech, the new President of CIPMN, Mr.Abiola Popoola said the institute's relevance stems from its ability to effectively deliver on the mandate of promoting excellence in the acquisition and application of professional people management skills by the members. 'On behalf of the newly elected National Executive comprising the Vice President, Mr.Sunday Korode and Treasurer, Mrs.Love Ezema we pledge to serve the institute with all our strength'Popoola assured.