The Central Bank of Nigeria: For God or Country?
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has become the epicenter of the nation's reform agenda. Sweeping changes to the way banks are owned and operated have resulted in the prosecution of once-untouchable bank executives for financial crimes. Billionaire debtors have been named and shamed; and fiscal responsibility has become a buzzword for corporations large and small.
In recent times, however, the CBN has found itself embroiled in poisoned debates on the merits of an Islamic banking model. The Islamic banking agenda has resulted in threats and counter-threats by religious leaders on both sides of the divide. This is coming at a time when Nigerians are living fearfully under the shadow of a violent, ultra-religious group that wants an autonomous Islamic nation and when divisive religious and ethnic rhetoric is filling up our public sphere
Islamic banking itself is not a misnomer in secular states (in fact, many developed nations have since incorporated it as part of their national banking policies). The error of judgment in the Nigerian instance is the attempt to insinuate religious constructs and structures like the Sharia Advisory Council into the CBN, a wholly secular, Federal Government establishment.
The Bank of England regulates UK Islamic banks under non-interest banking regulations, and then takes guidance from the Islamic Financial Services Board, a non-governmental organization headquartered in Malaysia. Nigeria is a full member of the IFSB and has access to those same guidelines. There is no reason why the CBN cannot regulate Islamic banking under the previous, non-controversial non-interest banking regulations.
The CBN cannot afford to develop and implement policies in a vacuum, especially when such policies can potentially lead to national instability. The Central Bank of Nigeria must never forget that its allegiance (above any other consideration - politics, economics or religion) is to the Federal Government of Nigeria and all its citizens.
mallam, papadonkey,...good job up there...anywaz, GEJ is to blame....vivamus.
Ehem, Credit goes to Pap..
NVS Editorial board needs to find Pontius Pilates' towels.
When a leader lacks political conviction, things fall apart.
This is in line with what other commentators have said in the past. The bone of contention is not the concept of Islamic Banking but the mode of its birth. Sanusi should take corrections and abide by the laws of the land. Any attempt to breach or circumvent the laws, irrespective of its good intensions, will always generate opposition and confusion. Laws are meant for the good of both the low and the mighty.
So must we do it the way our colonial massa does it?
In the colonial massa's country most things are privatized. Not so in ours, so who will we be fooling, and who will suffer, when the 'private advisory board', leads to a collapse of our banking system?
Quote: "The error of judgment in the Nigerian instance is the attempt to insinuate religious constructs and structures like the Sharia Advisory Council into the CBN, a wholly secular, Federal Government establishment." -NVS
The above expression is the plank of your piece. Be it known to Mallam Sanusi that religion and politics are an explosive mix in a circular state. To ignore the above, and proceed with Sharia Advisory Council would be a recipe for disaster.
I'll let your hero provide the justification for his actions:
- Reported by Vanguard Newspaper at the 20th anniversary of the Abuja Muslim Forum, February 2011
- Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria. May, 2011
@ Chi2: Thanks for that perceptive comment.
The system. Yes.
The same monitoring? Hell no! Nigeria needs more strict(Govt.) monitoring of all systems.
You can let your bigotry continue to lead you.
Government monitoring, dear Supes, really isn't the same as a religious conversion. I'm all for increased monitoring, but not for executive impunity. Our public officers must stay accountable to the letter and spirit of the law, even if they have no regard for the lesser mortals they are supposed to serve.
Me? A bigot?
"The CBN cannot afford to develop and implement policies in a vacuum, especially when such policies can potentially lead to national instability."
Exactly the result willy Sanusi and his forebearers had in mind before they started this escapade.
They should take a cue from GEJ who of most recent shown that new ideas are welcome but must go through right channels.
We shall see!