President Muhammadu Buhari, has debunked the claims by the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, that there is an underground plan to Islamise the country, with the recent issuance of its N100 billion Sukuk bond.
Buhari who was ably represented by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, made this disclosure on the side-lines of an Investor Conference, organised by Stanbic IBTC Bank, in Lagos.
Recall, that CAN had last week kicked against the floating of the Sukuk Islamic bond, by the Federal Government.

It alleged that the move has further confirmed its fears that the government was planning to Islamise the country through the back door.

Reacting, Adeosun said: “Sukuk is part of our programme to deepen the financial market. Interestingly, it predated us. The Committee started work in 2011. So, they have been working on it for six years, to structure products that would be compliant. Really, the Sukuk is about two things – one is about raising money and deepening the financial market.
“We need to include many people in the market, to raise the money that is needed for infrastructure. We have already introduced the savings bond, which is for small investors. They were saying that the process of getting into government securities was too complex.
“So, we made the product for them. And this is another product. We have other products that we are coming up with. So, there is no religious driver behind it. It is really a financial product to meet financial needs.”
She added: “This particular one of N100 billion, is going to be used for road projects. We have identified the road projects that it is going to be tied to, and there is no religious attachment to it. South Africa even did a sovereign Sukuk before Nigeria. So, there is no Islamisation agenda at all.”
The Minister said not every investor wanted to put their money into regular bonds and treasury bills, and as such, there was the need to get everyone on board.
On concerns that the funds raised from Sukuk must be used for Sharia-compliant activities strictly, the Minister said: “That is part of what is called the ethical investment. A lot of people for example, don’t want their funds invested in particular items, such breweries, among others.

“Funny, a lot of investors that we have been marketing the bond to, are just looking at the yield. So, it is really just another product which we hope would deepen the market and bring more people in. Not everybody wants to do bond or treasury bills. And we are still going to bring out many more products.”


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