Jaiz Bank is 10 Already! A Rose That Grew From Concrete

Jaiz Bank is 10 Already!

So Fast.!

I remember the furore over Islamic Banking/Non-Interest Banking when CBN granted the license under Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

Articles upon articles on newspapers threatening fire and brimstone over an ‘Islamization agenda’.

Chief Frederick Fasehun, founder of OPC before then accusing Sanusi of being devoted to Arabic and Sharia studies, launching a personal campaign for Islamic banking, and then bizarrely,that his initial banking reforms which led to sacking of some bank chiefs were aimed at giving conventional banking a bad name.

The then KADUNA PFN Chairman,Bishop David Bakare lambasted Sanusi, saying he was exacerbating interreligious tensions, accusing him of running a religious project.

And of course,CAN under Ayo Ortisejafor rejected it, and said it was an attempt to Islamize Nigeria.

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi explained the furore in that period in a recent interview .

” When we were having the attempt to license Jaiz. I was in the central bank and right behind the central bank, you’ve got the National Christian Center.



Jaiz Bank, Non-Interest Banking in Nigeria: 10 Years On

So CAN was having a meeting. And the entire conversation was around the central bank trying to Islamize Nigeria, and about licensing that bank.

One of the participants in the meeting, a Cardinal, Cardinal Onaiyekan sent me a message and said, .

“We’re having this meeting, and there’s this whole culture of Islamic banking. Can you explain to me what it is?

And I said, Cardinal, please ask the President of CAN (Because I could just walk across). So ask him for permission for me, and my team to come and answer any questions.

The Cardinal told them and they said, no, no, we don’t want to see him. Because they were not really interested in the answers. They wanted to issue statements that we were going to Islamize Nigeria.”

Sanusi in a famous Senate Hearing had to explain that it was in fact Professor Charles Soludo who kick started the Process, and one of the major movers of the policy was the Deputy Governor of CBN, Professor Kingsley Moghalu.

Sanusi then gave various reasons , financial inclusion, diversification issue of real economy, and the issue of risk in the financial system.

Sanusi even explained that the system was operating already in Europe, Asia, Middle-East, Africa and was well-developed in the UK.

At the end of the day, licenses were granted to the likes of Jaiz Bank, Stanbic-IBTC.

Other full fledged-banks have now emerged like TAJ BANK,and Lotus Bank.

Professor Kingsley Moghalu, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi have left the CBN now, but their legacy stands tall.

Jaiz Bank is 10. It is growing from strength to strength and it is ennobling that it does have an open-door policy employing staff from all religions.

The kind of inclusivity we all desire.

May they grow bigger. Ameen.

Karounwi Adini writes from Lagos, Nigeria.




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