‘Islamic Banking Will Reduce Inter-bank Lending Rates’

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Patron, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam said yesterday in Lagos that Islamic banking would bring down lending rates in Nigeria.

Aniebonam, who is also National Chairman, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), told newsmen that Islamic banking should be encouraged rather than discouraged.

“Islamic banking will enhance competition among banks. And rather than being sentimental about it, people should take their time to look at its pros and cons,’’ he said.

It would be recalled that the Central Bank Governor, Malam Lamido Sanusi Lamido had told the House of Representatives in Abuja on July 20 that the proposed Islamic banking would not discriminate against any Nigerian irrespective of their religious beliefs.

Sanusi said the proposed bank would be interest-free as provided for in the Banks and other Financial Institutions (BOFIA) Act 2000.

Aniebonam said there was nothing wrong with Islamic banking, adding that the controversies heralding its take off were unnecessary.

He added: “The constitution does not forbid it; everybody is free to float his own bank”.

Aniebonam said Christians and even traditionalists could only complain if the apex bank refused to grant them licenses to float their own banks.