Daily Trust (Abuja)

14 July 2011

Nigeria: 'Islamic Banking Long Overdue'

opinion

Jos — An Islamic cleric in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State, Sheikh Alhassan Sa'id Jos yesterday said that Islamic banking is long overdue in Nigeria considering the significant population of Muslims in the country. Speaking with Daily Trust in Jos, he said the introduction of Islamic banking ought not to have attracted so much comments because according to him, Muslims in the country who constitute a significant per cent have several investments and as such, have the right to a banking system.

"There is nothing wrong with Islamic banking in Nigeria. There is also a large number of Muslim investors in the country, and I think they deserve to have their own bank. I wonder why some people are against it. A lot of things have been imposed on Muslims in Nigeria, and they have never complained. For instance, the observation of Saturdays and Sundays as non working days are issues related to Christianity and the Jewish religion, but no Muslim complains about that, why should Christians complain over the introduction of Islamic banking? If that is the case, Muslims in Nigeria should also ask that Friday be included among the non working days or better still, the Federal Government can scrap Saturdays and Sundays and make neutral days like Tuesday or Wednesday non working days," he said.

The cleric argued that the introduction of Islamic banking would create job opportunities for people in the country, adding that the banking system is being practiced in many Christian dominated countries like the US, Britain and South Africa.

He called on Muslim clerics to use the forthcoming Ramadan tafsir period to enlighten people about the banking system.

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