By Adnan Tudunwada
The Emir of Kano and a former CBN governor Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II has revealed how billionaire business man, Aliko Dangote, paid substantial amount needed for the establishment of Islamic bank in Nigeria, saying without him as CBN governor and his Special Adviser on Islamic Finance, Bashir Umar, there wouldn’t have been Jaiz Bank.
The Emir revealed this while serving as a keynote speaker in a conference on Islamic Finance at Bayero University, Kano.
“When Jaiz bank came up with the idea of getting a license for the operation of the bank, they proposed the funding of the bank’s capital with interest and I said no, you can’t fund a non-interest bank with interest. The required amount to be issued license was N5 billion at that time and they had only N1 billion.
“I took my phone and called one of the richest men in Africa who is a Nigerian and a Muslim. I told him that N5 billion is needed for an Islamic bank to start operation and the founders have N1 billion, and he instantly agreed and issued a cheque of 4 billion. That is how the license was issued.
“Some Nigerians thought the introduction of Islamic banking in the country was a move to Islamize Nigeria. No at all, everything that is normal in the world is not normal in Nigeria. There is Islamic banking in London, India and in South Africa but the citizens there never thought it as a way of Islamizing their countries but it became an issue in Nigeria.
“Today, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is the chairman of the governing board and head of the general assembly of the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM). Is that an agenda of Islamizing Nigeria? No, It was done for the promotion and guidance in financial inclusion. That is how we are,” he said.
The former CBN governor further criticized the tradition of early marriage and the problem of girl child education in the North, calling on stakeholders to invest more on girl child education than building mosques.
“75% of 18-15 married women in the country today are not educated, that is why the society is producing illiterate mothers and children. I am tired of building mosques daily. We keep building mosque while our children are not educated, our foundations and NGO’s should give much focus and priority to girl child education, the mosques are OK enough.
“I am currently drafting a bill that will be sent to the State Assembly for legislation against early marriage. We need to ban it, all this issues of maternal health and Almajiri are courtesy of early marriage as a result of lack of education for our girl children, this is bringing us back,” he added.
The Keynote address was presented by the emir on the theme: “Islamic Banking and Finance, Financial Inclusion and Sustainable Development”, followed by lead paper presented by 2016 Nobel Prize winner in Islamic Finance, Prof Muhammad Kabir Hasan of the University of New Orleans, USA on ” Islamic Finance: What It Is and What It Can Do”.
The formal opening ceremony was held at the Musa Abdullahi Auditorium, BUK, New Campus under the Chairmanship of Dr Shamsudeeen Usman, former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
Other activities included exhibitions by Islamic banking and finance institutions and players.
The International Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance, IIIBF, is the first and only university based Islamic banking and finance training institute in West Africa.
Its programmes include MSc Islamic Banking & Finance, Professional Masters in IBF, Postgraduate Diploma in IBF, Professional Certificate in IBF (PCIBF), Associate Certificate in IBF (ACIBF) Professional Certificate in Takaful, Certificate in Islamic Business and Finance (CIBF) Professional Certificate in Islamic Microfinance (PCIMF), among others.