Islamic council task Muslims to access CBN intervention loans

The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has tasked Muslims to apply for the non-interest version of the Central Bank of Nigerian (CBN) intervention funds for the masses.

The funding initiatives include the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), Agri-Business, Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), among others.

The religious council also lamented that for decades, Nigerian Muslims have been grossly marginalized in the country’s financial sector and other growth triggering financial interventions of the CBN due largely to the interest element that is usually involved in the schemes.

According to the President-General of NSCIA in a statement on Thursday, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, said that Muslims constitutes over half of the country’s population.

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He further that “the question of avoiding interest is non-negotiable, and the majority of Muslims would opt to live in poverty rather than devour interests and face the wrath of their Creator.

He urged Muslims to optimally utilize the non-interest loan for the actualisation of productive purposes, ”keeping in mind that this is not free money. For a Muslim, debt is an Amanah.”

“In the absence of non-interest finance, the result has been a high rate of financial exclusion among Muslims, as high as over 60% in some Muslim majority communities. This leads to worsening incidence of abject poverty.

“The implication is that without non-interest alternatives, the CBN can hardly attain its goal of 80% financial inclusion earlier targeted for 2020, nor can any meaningful poverty alleviation and economic empowerment programme be actualised in the foreseeable future,” he added.

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