« Previous | Main | Next »

Should Nigeria embrace Islamic banking?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 12:38 UK time, Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Nigerian naira notes being counted


The Nigerian Central Bank (CBN) is hosting a two day conference to discuss the introduction of Islamic banking in the country.  

Under Sharia Islamic law, making money from money, such as charging interest, is usury and therefore not permitted.

The customer and the bank share the risk of any investment on agreed terms, and divide any profits between them.

Wealth should be generated only through legitimate trade and investment in assets. But investment in companies involved with alcohol, gambling, tobacco and pornography is strictly off limits.

The CBN says Islamic banking will give depositors another choice of where to keep their money and a different way of doing business.

But Christian clerics in the country are up in arms saying it will magnify religious divisions in the country. What do you think? 

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 5 July at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published. 


  • Comment number 1.

    What should happen is for law makers in Nigeria to be really careful and to be patriotic enough as to not allow religion to blind fold them. They should consider legislation to permanently separate church from state. This is what makes America the great country that it is despite its diversity.

  • Comment number 2.

    It's so sad and economically unfriendly when India and japan are seriously fighting to be the economy power house of the world,Nigeria is brain storming it citizens to return to stone aged ideas that would bring thier country to its knee.

  • Comment number 3.

    Nigeria is a plural society, we should not glorify any religion above others. Simply signing into Islamic bank is another way to bring sharia law. Nigeria has lately witness more than enough ethno religious crisis. Any organization that has coloration of any faith may not be well received by the citizens, no matter how good the intent. Nigerians need peace more than any faith.

  • Comment number 4.

    Nigeria shouldn’t have been independent. It doesn’t seem we can run the country for another 5years.. Britain should have not given us independency!!

  • Comment number 5.

    nothing for ever let them try if they succeed the world banks may learn something of it.

  • Comment number 6.

    Why should there be am Islamic bank when we are still trying to do things that will bring about greater unity in the nation, the 'Islamic Bank' will further divide Nigeria and bring about greater fundamentalism. Who knows what else will be demanded?

  • Comment number 7.

    what is wrong with Islamic banking is they met the cbn requirement? tribalism is in every Nigerian head. this is what is causing a division among them. I think is a welcome development.

  • Comment number 8.

    Islamic banking wont divide or bring any conflict, its as simple as ABC if you want to bank with the islamic bank go on if not do your normal banking with non islamic bank what is the problem with that?

  • Comment number 9.

    Yes, It's a very good option for the banking population in the country, and I really do not see where the problem is and why our christian brothers are getting all worked-up about this. The Muslim in Nigeria have the right to practice there religion without any hindrance as our christian population too have.

  • Comment number 10.

    NO! Nigeria is a secular, multi cultural,etnic, and religious country. Maybe in the private sector, we practice "democracy" now less we forget. I'm sure this kind of question will not come up as a debate in England or Wales?.

  • Comment number 11.

    Nigeria is not a solely islamic country, how then could it embrace islamic banking and besides that is not the solution for mismanagement of funds.There are practical solutions which will go well with everyone, but just ignored; for reasons best known to them.

  • Comment number 12.


  • Comment number 13.


  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    The reason why Nigerians like me are skeptic about Islamic banking is because the problem in Nigeria does not come from banking system, we have a leadership problem. Economic growth does not come from the banking system; it comes from the market system. Islamic banking will not bring any thing that could improve our economic situation that is not in the current system.

  • Comment number 16.

    …Financial institutions have been an instrument used by our leaders to carry out their selfish interests. In a BBC radio conversation on this subject, a CBN representative repeatedly defended this proposal from a business standing point saying that he has “no interest” in politics…

  • Comment number 17.

    …Taking into account that the role of the Central Bank is to align the interest of commercial banks with that of the public, which cannot be done effectively without giving some consideration to politics (Nigeria is currently facing Islamic terrorism and other religious tensions that surrounds Islamism), a “strictly business” standpoint...

  • Comment number 18.

    ...reflects a chronic insensitivity to the situation of the country and a failure to reflect general interest in decision making. Insensitive leadership decisions will not bring a positive change in Nigeria at this time; it will only intensify division in the country...

  • Comment number 19.

    ...It doesn't matter whether it is an Islamic, Christian or even a heavenly banking system. The decision is not in tune with the current political situation of the country.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.