This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
EXTEND DEADLINE FOR FG’S SUKUK
19th September, 2017
DEADLINE FOR FG’S SUKUK
The Federal Government
(FG) issued its first sukuk (noninterest lease assets facilities) last
week (on Thursday 14th September, 2017). Surprisingly, it will be
available for only six days as it expires tomorrow, Wednesday 20th
Although we commend FG for this historical development, we
are disturbed by the short notice of the savings window. The Central Bank of
Nigeria (CBN) goofed by giving six days only as deadline when interest based
bonds and shares are available for months before the closing date.
Six days notice is
rather too short for a new facility. Afterall, Muslim Finance experts have for
several decades been calling for noninterest financial instruments like the sukuk
and FG needs to give this first chance a longer time until people get used to
Although it was
advertised in one or two newspapers, FG needs to do better than that. A massive
media publicity involving all media houses (print and electronic) is necessary
for this first outing. CBN also needs to involve all banks. There is no sign at
all that the banks are aware or that they are cooperating. With its battalion
of experts, CBN should have known better. Or is the sukuk deliberately
designed to fail? Is there an anti-Muslim sentiment behind this?
CBN should not only be made to keep the investment window
open for at least 6 weeks, all agency banks should be directed to publicise the
product throughout all their branches. In addition, CBN and the Federal
Ministry of Information should be directed to give maximum possible publicity
to the new facility. Nigeria needs this financial instrument as a new
initiative to complement its efforts at emerging from the present economic
economic magazine, The Economist, once described Islamic finance as the
tipping point. The
London Stock Exchange listed its first ever sukuk
ten years ago (April 2007). It has been a continuous exercise since then.
Nobody should tell us that he is better in economic matters than the British
and their shrewd banks. The Middle East and Asia are the two fastest-growing
areas of the world in economic development and sukuk has been held
largely responsible for this phenomenon.
The CIMB Group Holdings has affirmed that Islamic finance is the
fastest growing section of the world’s financial system. Presently, Islamic
banking is practiced in 300 different financial institutions in more than 52
countries including the United States and Britain. The involvement of Nigerian banks will give them the opportunity to bite
their own mouthfuls from more than $822 billion in assets being managed
by Islamic banks worldwide.
We expect CBN to know all these facts. It knows the advantages
of sukuk and its preference in modern financial institutions. Or does
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) urges Nigerian banks to
avail themselves of this window. Sukuk is growing speedily in Western banks. Conventional
banks are now scrambling to set up Shari'a-compliant operations in the Europe
and America; a flurry of all-Islamic start-ups, from full-service investment
banks to specialist advisory firms and their products have moved beyond
lending, insurance and investment funds to include sukuk.
MURIC charges FG to extend the sukuk’s deadline to the
end of December 31st, 2017. We suggest that a robust publicity
should be embarked upon between now and the proposed December 31st
ultimatum. No serious nation plays with its economic survival and
diversification of investments is one of the best means for achieving this.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)