The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday announced minimum capital base of N10 billion for National Islamic Banks and N5 billion for regional Islamic Banks.
CBNDeputy Governor, Financial Sector Surveillance (FSS), Dr Kingsley Moghalu, announced this while addressing journalists in Lagos at a seminar on Non-Interest Banking in Nigeria organised by BusinessDay and Apostles in the Market Place.
“For the National Islamic Bank it is N10 billion and for the Regional Islamic Bank it is N5 billion,” he said
Experts who spoke at the seminar, however, faulted the apex bank on introduction of Islamic banking, saying Nigeria is a secular state and the CBN Act does not empower the apex bank to introduce Islamic banking.
Faulting the apex bank on the introduction of Islamic banking, Mr. Eghes Eyieyien, chief executive, Pharez Limited, a Lagos-based consulting firm, said the “CBN cannot use a guideline to change the law, the CBN is not the National Assembly. If Islamic banking must happen, the CBN should send a draft bill to the National Assembly.”
Moghalu, however, strongly defended the decision of the apex bank to introduce Islamic banking in Nigeria, saying this is covered by the provision for specialised banking in the Banking and Other Financial Institutions Act, BOFIA, and the new banking framework.
He said the new guidelines on non-interest banking was based on a review of the guidelines issued in January in response to comments and concerns expressed by the public.
He said Islamic banking is a type of non-interest banking which is a specialised type of banking, adding that the aim is to deepen financial inclusion and that patronage is optional to members of the banking public.