Friday, 26 August 2011

The Plan About Christianity Banking

The president of Christian
Association of Nigeria, CAN,
Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, made
some remarks yesterday in
Benin City, Edo State, indicating
that Christians in Nigeria are
considering having their own
version of non-interest banking
after the Swedish model. He
said this in relation to the
ongoing plan to introduce
Islamic banking to the West-
African country.
CAN said it expects the Central
Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to deploy
the same resources it had
pushed into Islamic banking to
make the planned Christian
version a success.
“What we are telling the CBN
governor is that he should be
ready to spend the same
billions when Christians
eventually come up with their
own. We are looking into what
the CBN is spending on the
project and we will come out
with the figures. He (Sanusi
Lamido Sanusi) will have to
bring out that amount of
money, he will have to make
sure that Christians are trained
in anywhere we need training.
For example, in Sweden there
is a very good Christian model
of non-interest banking. So,
Sanusi must get ready to bring
out the billions to train over a
thousand Christians in
Sweden.”
He said uniform guidelines
should be used to demonstrate
that the CBN meant well for
Nigeria by introducing non-
interest banking and Islamic
banking into the economy. He
said except the CBN comes out
with common modalities for
the non-interest banking and
then allow any interested party
to go into the sector, its current
position would continue to hurt
the industry.
In a keynote address at the
36th yearly national conference
and general meeting of the
Nigeria Christian Graduate
Fellowship, NCGF, in Benin City,
Oritsejafor said it was
hypocritical for the CBN and
some persons to be promoting
Islamic banking in a secular
country like Nigeria.
He asked, “If they (CBN) say it is
going to be Islamic banking
because that is all we know
about this non-interest
banking, which ought not to be,
and they claim it is for all
Nigerians, is this true? Clearly,
Islamic banking will be run
according to Islamic laws. For
example, if I own a piggery, will
you give me a loan to operate
it? The answer to me is no. For
them to say if we don’t support
it go to other banks when
Islamic banking is purportedly
for every Nigerian amounts to
discriminating against such
persons? Why is it that you are
spending government’s money
to promote it when it is
certainly not for everybody?
The CAN president further
added, “Nigeria needs prayers
because the mistake a lot of
people make is to think that
those who speak out are
against other religions. They
are not, all we are asking for is
equity and justice, we are not
the ones that heat up the
polity, we only respond to some
of these things that certain
persons throw up. Christians
should pray, they should love
their Muslim brothers, but not
accept to be second-class
citizens. Christians should
educate people on the realities
of some of these things and the
implications.”
National President of the NCGF,
Prof. Vincent Iyawe, said the
aim of the fellowship is to see
“the enthronement of
righteousness in our nation and
to inform and educate the
church that the socio-economic
and political well-being of the
nation is the responsibility of
the church.”
Responding to the issue,
Former President of CAN, Rev.
Sunday Mbang, urged the
country’s leaders not to heat up
the polity through obnoxious
policies.
He said, “To make sure we
don’t have crisis in this country,
anything that anybody knows
would bring problem in future
should be avoided. My advice to
the members of the National
Assembly is that they should
ask the CBN governor to put the
issue of Islamic banking on
hold. Let him do things that
would bring unity to Nigerians
and not what generates
controversy. I am advising the
CBN governor to do things that
would bring unity to the
country.”

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