Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Introduction of Islamic Banking not a move to Islamize Nigeria - Emir of Kano

The Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi Lamido has clarified the misconceptions surrounding the introduction of Islamic Banking in Nigeria.
It will be recalled that the Emir, the the Central Bank, CBN,Governor issued license for the operation of non interest bank under the Islamic commercial jurisprudence.
The move was widely condemned by a cross section of Nigerians. In fact the International College of Penticostal Bishops of Nigeria and Overseas called for the immediate removal of the monarch for allegedly using his position to create a policy that is threatening the unity of the country.
On June, 2012, a Federal High Court in Abuja held that Sanusi lacked the constitutional powers to issue the license. Delivering judgement in the suit filed by a lawyer, Mr Godwin Sunday, the court presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole maintained that the action was in flarant violation of section 10 of the Constitution as amended.
Taking to his official Instagram page, the Emir said it was done for the promotion and guidance in financial inclusion. He wrote:
"When Jaiz bank came up with the idea of getting a license for the operation of the bank, they proposed the funding of the bank’s capital with interest and I said no, you can’t fund a non-interest bank with interest.
The required amount to be issued license was N5 billion at that time and they had only N1 billion. I took my phone and called one of the richest men in Africa who is a Nigerian and a Muslim. I told him that N5 billion is needed for an Islamic bank to start operation and the founders have N1 billion, and he instantly agreed and issued a cheque of 4 billion. That is how the license was issued.

Some Nigerians thought the introduction of Islamic banking in the country was a move to Islamize Nigeria. No at all, everything that is normal in the world is not normal in Nigeria. There is Islamic banking in London, India and in South Africa but the citizens there never thought it as a way of Islamizing their countries but it became an issue in Nigeria.

Today, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is the chairman of the governing board and head of the general assembly of the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM). Is that an agenda of Islamizing Nigeria? No, It was done for the promotion and guidance in financial inclusion. That is how we are. However, the tradition of early marriage and the problem of girl child education in the North, calling on stakeholders to invest more on girl child education than building mosques.

75% of 18-15 married women in the country today are not educated, that is why the society is producing illiterate mothers and children. I am tired of building mosques daily. We keep building mosque while our children are not educated, our foundations and NGO’s should give much focus and priority to girl child education, the mosques are OK enough.

I am currently drafting a bill that will be sent to the State Assembly for legislation against early marriage. We need to ban it, all this issues of maternal health and Almajiri are courtesy of early marriage as a result of lack of education for our girl children, this is bringing us back.

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