The Senate of the federal republic of Nigeria is blowing hot. They are very furious with Nigerian banks. On Tuesday, they raised alarm that an unnamed cartel has taken over Nigeria’s commercial banks.

They also accused the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and commercial banks of killing the Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, with high interest rates.

They added that indicators have shown that only about 3% of SMEs starting up in the country have access to credits from banks, despite employing about 88% of the nation’s work force.

In the meantime, the Senate has mandated its Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions to organize a Round-Table with CBN, banks, NDIC, other relevant stakeholders and industry experts to find immediate solutions.

In his remarks, Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, wondered why interest rates are high.

“The banks are run by a powerful cartel. They do what they like and jerk up interest rates. Over the years, we have seen the exchange rates go up, but it is not the same in other economies of the world. Nigeria has the most unpredictable economy in the world and we have to be worried about this.”