14 July 2011

Nigeria: Islamic Banking Won't Change One's Faith -Prof Ayagi

Kano — Foremost economist and former Chairman of National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC), Professor Ibrahim Ayagi has said that introduction of Islamic banking in Nigeria will not convert people to Islam.

He told Daily Trust yesterday in Kano that the whole idea is about choice of investment.

He said: "I am surprised and shocked about the people who are complaining about the introduction of Islamic banking in Nigeria. To me Islamic banking is a normal financial system of banking.

"The only thing is that it is devoid of interest. Instead of interest it relies on profit sharing. Why should anybody be against it? Why are they thinking it is going to Islamize the country? That is not what it means.

"We have been operating this Jewish system of banking and nobody has become a Jew. So why are they now equating Islamic banking to Islamisation of the country? It is wrong."

He said the idea is that you have two systems operating side by side and you choose the one that you think offers best return on investment.

"If you think that you will get better return on your investment if you invest in the profit oriented system, so be it. If on the other hand you feel that the return on your investment will be better in the profit-sharing system, you go for it. It is a very simple. I think those who are making noise about Islamic banking don't know what they are talking about or they chose to be ignorant."

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