Home / Letters / On CAN’s opposition to Sukuk, -By Fatima B. Bello,J

On CAN’s opposition to Sukuk, -By Fatima B. Bello,J

Bayero University, Kano

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has once again exposed its ignorance through its objection to the recent issuance of Sukuk by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Sukuk, as defined by Wikipedia, is the Arabic name for financial certificates, also commonly referred to as “sharia compliant” bonds.
Like the Financial Times explained, Sukuk bonds are structured to generate returns to investors without infringing Islamic law (that prohibits riba or interest). I refer CAN to Nehemiah 5:9-10 when it comes to charging interest on loans.
Sorry for the digression.
Before it issued the bond, the Debt Management Office (DMO) took its time to explain how the concept works and what it would be used for.
Indeed, the Director General of DMO, Patience Oniha, said that proceeds from the bonds would be used to finance the construction of 25 economic roads across the six geopolitical zones in the country.
But CAN, speaking through its General Secretary Rev. Musa Asake, dismissed Oniha’s explanation, describing the issuance of the Sukuk bond as an attempt to sell Nigeria to Islamic nations.
Interestingly, when in 2012, then President Goodluck Jonathan sought the approval of the National Assembly to source for $7.9 billion foreign loans from the Islamic Development Bank and others, CAN did not raise any alarm of attempt to Islamise Nigeria.
This is in spite of the fact that the IDB operates in accordance with the principles of Shari’ah i.e., Islamic Law.
If Sukuk can lead to the Islamisation of any country, the United Kingdom wouldn’t have issued it in 2014. Hong Kong also would not have issued two sovereign Sukuk as of middle of 2015.
So I advise CAN not to oppose something that Muslims and Christians, as well as animists, can benefit from.

Fatima B. Bello,
Jimeta, Adamawa state


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