Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido has stated that unless the country emulates its counterparts in Europe, Asia and Middle-East to adopt Islamic economic system that advocates zero-interest, it may continue to wander in the present economic depression.
This was as the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) Lagos State Area Unit (LSAU) described as unjust, unfair and unreasonable the hike in school fees in the state university by the state government, calling for immediate reduction and amendments.
Speaking at the annual conference of the MSSN with the: unemployment and the Islamic economic system with the sub-topic: Islamic economic model a panacea for global economic crisis at the Adeyemi Bero auditorium, Alausa Ikeja, the CBN helmsman explained that the Islamic economic system would encourage total commitment of government to the peoples’ plight and at the same time commit self to its solutions.
Represented by his Special Adviser on zero interest banking, Dr. Bashir Umar, Sanusi noted that the model would ensure total and even regulations and allocation of wealth by the government to the citizenry.
He said, “Islamic economic system would surely guarantee regulation of economic interest to the people; it would put checks in the financial system; it has the potential of addressing unemployment by opening alternatives for the citizenry especially the unemployed.”
Also, chairman of Albarka Microfinance Bank, Abdulhakeem Mobolaji suggested a shift in the paradigm to accommodate options that would bail the country from its present economic crisis.
Governor Babatunde Fashola who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on religion (Islam) Abdulhakeem Kosoko argued that zero-interest would lay to rest greed and selfish tendency among the rulers and the ruled, saying, “There is a lot of inconsistency but Islamic system will encourage the fear of Allah because countries already operating the system are flourishing.”
In his welcome speech, the Amir of MSSN, Qasim Badrudeen lamented that the unemployment rate in Nigeria has reached an alarming height, “In our dear country, Nigeria, the percentage of the unemployed in 2003 was put at 10.8 overall. This figure, according to Dr. Yemi Kale, the statistician general of the federation, had jumped to 21.7 per cent in 2010.
“From this, it is estimated that 32.5 million out of the estimated 150 million Nigerians are jobless. It is more likely that a far higher number of Nigerians of working age are in the labour market. We need not go far into these government’s released statistics to ascertain the seriousness of the problem. A walk down the streets of major cities across the country would give us an idea of the crisis at hand. Many able-bodied young men and women roam the streets with no gainful employment,” he noted.
He argued that the unemployment crisis in Nigeria “Has no doubt given rise to a lot of socio-economic challenges threatening the stability of the country, youth restiveness, violent crimes, rape, armed robbery, kidnapping and other vices which were hitherto very minimal have become preeminent in our daily life. There seems to be no solution in sight to the problem as policy makers in government have failed to evolve pragmatic approaches towards tackling unemployment in the country,” he posited.
He however suggested, “Islam’s option to tackle the problem of unemployment lies on one hand in the responsibility it placed on the state to provide conducive environment for its citizens to be able to access basic needs of life: food, clothing and shelter. But if they are unable to provide these basic needs for themselves and family, then the Islamic state is duty-bound to provide them with the same.”
MSSN also condemned Lagos state government’s increase of tuition fees in LASU, saying, In as much as we agree that the government needs to upgrade the standard of the school in terms of the infrastructure and quality of education; we find it difficult to accept the rationale behind the increment,” asking, “How will a parent earning N18,000 be able to send his children to LASU?”
Meanwhile, Qasim Badrudeen was re-elected as Amir of LSAU for another two years; Saheed Ashafa as his deputy; Abdulhakeem Adeduntan as the secretary; Shuaib Okunneye assistant; while Sulaimon Alamutu a reporter with the Moment Newspaper will serve as the new Public Relations Officer.