Nigeria spends N9bn yearly to import champagne, says Audu Ogbe

Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman and farmer, Chief Audu Ogbe, has advocated a high import duty on champagne, saying that Nigeria spends over N9 billion to import the product.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting organised by Quintessential Diamond Limited, a company that deals in agro-products in Abuja, Ogbe pushed for special banks funded by the treasury and targeting industrial, and agricultural growth at one digit interest rate.

He said if this was not done, the economy might head for trouble, recalling that when a few years ago he warned the Kano State Government against militant activity, he was accused of raising false alarm.

“With the current interest rate, you can’t manufacture. The next thing is, we have got to create special development banks. We had them before – NIDB, NBCI. They were there focusing on industrial growth. Some of these reforms have deformed this country’s growth. And those banks should charge one digit interest rate. This business of throwing the whole thing wide is not helping the country. I don’t care which economist is preaching this stuff. I challenge such an economist that since 28 years ago when we began this programme (the country’s economic programme), poverty crisis has worsened by the day. We must have special banks funded by the treasury targeting industrial and agricultural growth at one digit interest rate. Otherwise, we are heading for trouble,” he said.

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