Former Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi yesterday said some people in the country manipulate religion to cover the truth.
He spoke during the fifth National Discourse of The Companion, an association of Muslim men in business and the professions at the J.F, Ade-Ajayi Main Auditorium, University of Lagos, Akoka.
He said the approval of non-interest banking in the country took a lot of efforts and commitment.
The Islamic Financial System, Sanusi said, generated unnecessary controversy along religious divide.
The non-Muslim, he said, later embraced it on knowing the huge benefits inherent in it as 40 per cent of those who initially subscribed for Jaiz Bank shares are non-Muslims.
Sanusi said there is no reason why Nigeria cannot be the centre of Islamic banking in Africa.
The guest speaker, Prof AbdulRazzaq Alaro debunked perception that Islamic banking has an agenda to Islamise Nigeria.
The professor of Islamic Law at University of Ilorin, Kwara State, stated that the United Kingdom is the leading promoter of Islamic Banking and the Head of Islamic Finance in the World Bank, Abayomi Alawode is a Nigerian Yoruba Christian.
According to him, the Islamic Finance provides alternative investment and financing option.
“This is evidenced by the growing demand for, and ever-increasing customer base of Islamic financial services in the country.From just one and only Non-Interest Financial Institution in 2012, the industry has grown in only one decade to four licensed full-fledged non-interest banks; a window of a conventional bank; and three microfinance banks among others,” he said.
Prof Alaro, a member of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’)s Financial Regulatory Advisory Council of Experts, said that corporate entities, as well as the Nigerian government, have also benefitted from Islamic Banking.
National President of The Companion, Kamil Olalekan said the topic was influenced by timeliness and relevance to the Nigerian polity,” he said.
Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe the university senate has approved Islamic Banking finance programme under the UNILAG Business School to start awarding post-graduate degree.