FORMER Minister of Finance, Chief Olu Falae, has canvassed a secular name for the non-interst banking system, currently known as Islamic Banking, to remove the prevailing religious connotation on it and thereby, widen investment interests.
He made the prescription in Lagos, on Tuesday, at a one-day colloquium organised by Centre for Righteous Living (CRIL) and The Moslem Congress (TMC), with the theme: “Inter-Religious Dialogue on Islamic Banking.”
Falae, who stated that the problem in the country is more of ethnic than religion, stressed that there are contextual issues on the Islamic banking that needed clarifications, which the Central Bank of Nigeria must provide answers for, adding that the citizens need to be well informed and educated on the issues to avoid religious conflict.
But the nomenclature attached to the banking system and the procedures being adopted, he pointed out, may bring an outburst.
“Christians are not opposing Islamic banking, Christians are not warring against Moslems, we are one Nigeria, after all Koran and Holy Bible forbid usury, even Prophet Mohammed had a Christian as a wife, it shows the two religions can co-exist in this country, but since Nigeria is not a secular state, we should be more careful in handling national issues.”
“Looking at the chaos in the country, the insecurity, bombings, burning of churches and reckless killing of Nigerian citizens, holy Koran ask them not to kill but they are killing, what do you think that will happen by the time the see Islamic banking in full operation?” he queried.
He also urged the Moslems leaders to educate their people (Boko Haram sect) and imbibe spirit of unity and dialogue as evident at the conference, adding that there is tolerance and understanding in the southwest. He further commended the two groups on their effort to bring mutual peace in the country.
Meanwhile, one of the guest speaker, Dr. Mobolaji Abdulhakeem has earlier in his lecture, urged the Christian bodies to be tolerance, and engage in a constructive dialogue devoid of emotional sentiment, adding that “Islamic banking does not in any form exercise coercive authority on anybody, rather it an alternative framework and portfolio aimed at enhancing a financial choice to go bank with interest free bank.”
He urged everyone to be open minded, seek information, be constructively be engaged and exhibit mutual respect rather than mistrust, as there is no evidence that countries that are practicing Islamic banking have (Islamicised) imposed sharia law on their citizens.
It was indeed a convergence of various leaders of religious organisations, professional and non-professional bodies, banking and government institutions, in which they discussed their fears, goals, implications and objectives of Islamic banking.
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