The Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi for continuing with the foundation laid by his predecessor Chukwuma Soludo on Islamic banking.
The group dismissed the allegation that the CBN governor is introducing the non-interest banking as part of the alleged northern agenda, as baseless and totally uncalled for, stating that Islamic banking will not Islamise the country but rather will be beneficial to all.
In a statement signed by its national president, Tajudeen Olaseni Oladoja, the group encouraged Muslims and other people to invest their money and to become partners in order to share profits and risks in the business instead of becoming creditors.
While noting that Islamic finance is based on the belief that the provider of capital and the user of capital should equally share the risk of business ventures, such as industries, farms, service companies or simple trades deals, it stated that Islamic banking is about removing the practice of interest which is not only unique to Islam.
“Islam is not the only religion that denies or prohibits usury; it is perhaps because the rules of prohibition are quite prescriptive and structured that it has achieved world prominence in a short space of time.
“Islamic financial institution is based on religious injunctions preached by all monotheist religions including Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. It prohibits usury, gambling, cheating, among others,” the statement said.
According to the organisation, Islamic banking has entered a sphere of finance and economics that has been unexplored for the last two centuries and has evidently become the fastest growing sector in finance all over the world.
The statement further pointed that the non-interest banking was approved by the former CBN governor Chukwuma Soludo before the emergence of Mr Sanusi in 2009 and therefore condemned in strong terms the unwarranted condemnation of the CBN governor over the introduction of Islamic banking in Nigeria.
“A calm and thorough reading of the clear provisions of section 9, 23, and 52 of Banks and other Financial Institutions Act, Cap B3 LFN 2004 provided for the establishment of Islamic banking in Nigeria. It was in consequence of these provisions that, the former Habib Bank now Bank PHB was given an approval in 1992 to operate a window of Islamic banking, which is still operational,” it said.