By DOTUN IBIWOYE & SEKINAT ONAKOYA
LAGOS—Former Minister of Finance, Chief Olu Falae, has faulted Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor Malam Lamido Sanusi, over islamic banking, arguing that he (Sanusi) was too emotional about the issue which is unexpected of a public officer of his status.
Falae also stressed that he would have suspended or fired Sanusi if he were the finance minister.
He said this at the public discourse, yesterday, on islamic banking organised by The Muslim Congress and Centre for Righteous Living, with the theme: “Inter-Religious Dialogue on Islamic Banking” in Lagos.
Falae said the CBN governor was making islamic banking look as if it was going to serve specific purpose and that as a public officer, that office did not allow him to be making political statements that looked like a campaign for islamic banking.
He said: “I do not have issues with islamic banking and its establishment in Nigeria, but I’m really concerned about some of its operation and the Governor of CBN, Mallam Lamido. When a public officer is making such political statements on islamic banking which has severral emotional attachments, it is wrong.
“If I was the finance minister, or during my era as minister of finance, I would have suspended Sanusi for making such political statement which gives a lot of affection to islamic banking, which is not expected of a public officer. I don’t know what the minister of finance is doing, for him to allow the CBN governor to go on such campaign.”
He added: “If the governor forgot himself that he is governor of CBN, he should be notified. When I was minister of finance, I ordered such political statements which has adverse effects to stop. If I was the minister, I would have called him to order.”
The former Secretary to the Federal Government said the name should have been called non-interest bank and not islamic bank because a secular country as Nigeria might misinterpret the bank with one having links to a particular religion.
He said: “After the islamic bank collapses is CBN going to use tax-payers money, which comprises Muslims and Christians, to revive that bank? These are issues that needs to be addressed in the operations of the bank and statements of Sanusi.”