The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has said that those opposed to the introduction of Islamic banking in Nigeria are not conversant with current happenings in the world as the system is being practised in the United Kingdom and other countries of the world dominated by Christians.
He spoke on the BBC Hausa service monitored in Kaduna at the weekened, even as the Kaduna State chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) expressed concern over moves to introduce Islamic banking in the country.
The PFN while condemning the move said the action of the CBN governor at a time when Nigerians were still battling to douse the tension created by political and religious crises was unfortunate.
However, Sanusi explained that the move for the introduction of the JAIZ Bank in Nigeria had been on even before he assumed leadership in the CBN and disclosed that other superior officers in the CBN who were Christians had no problem with Islamic banking in Nigeria.
According to him, a major stakeholder in the JAIZ Bank was an Igbo businessman who saw the prospects and had since invested a lot towards the noble cause.
Nigerians, he said, should not be afraid of Islamic bank as it was going to be a non-interest banking which had been practised successfully in many parts of the world.
But the PFN in a statement by its chairman, Bishop David Bakare, said that the action of the CBN governor would further polarise the nation along religious lines as well as raise suspicions about his intention no matter how good it could be.
“Honestly if the CBN governor had embarked on this advocacy for Islamic banking as a religious leader it would have made a better sense than as a government official. Therefore, he should come out and tell the nation whose errand he is running and for whom he speaks. Is he speaking for himself, Islam, or for the government of Nigeria?
“ Sanusi should please be advised not put the nation into another avoidable distraction and dangerous crises. We call on the president not to wait until trouble begins before acting,” he said.
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