“Islamic banking can end recession in Nigeria” – Popoola, managing director of Credit Bureau

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The financial system of Nigeria is over due for change. Recently, Mr Ahmed Popoola has called for more implementation of the Islamic banking. He believed that only the Islamic financial banking can lift Nigeria from its present recession state. He further noted that the Islamic finance was growing globally and it is not faith based as many assumed.

Popoola, an accountant and managing director of Credit Bureau, a financial organisation has said that Islamic banking will help to end the current economic downturn being experienced in the country. He believed it is the only solution to the present problem. He made the statement while delivering a keynote address at the annual national conference of the Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN) in Lagos on Friday, May 19.

The conference which was themed ‘Pulling Nigeria Out of the Economic Recession’ was meant to proffer possible solutions to the present state of economic recession in the country. Also, it was aimed to support the private companies in accessing finance.

“Worldwide, Islamic finance is no more peripheral to conventional finance as it is being operated in 75 countries, including western nations. People think that the Islamic financial system is based on faith, but it is based on justice for the two parties. Besides, Islamic finance system does not allow investments that harm people or the environment, thereby promoting sustainable finance,” he said.

In addition, Popoola noted that the Islamic finance offers spectacular opportunities in funding public infrastructure and empowering small businesses which would help bail the country out of recession. He further confirmed that Nigeria was experiencing recession for the second time as the country had experienced recession in the 1980s. The 80’s recession made tremendous negative impacts in the country’s welfare.

“Before this current experience of recession, the last time Nigeria was in recession was about 25 years ago. That was in 1987 when the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) recorded consecutive negative growth of -0.51% in the first quarter. Recession does not happen overnight, the ominous signs are always there. During the recession of the 1980s, the signs of things to come were apparent in the early 1980s when the then Federal Government declared ‘Austerity Measures.'”

He further added:
“The signs of the 2016 recession were also manifested in the preceding years. Real GDP growth slid from 6.3% in 2014 to 2.7% in 2015 and finally to a negative of -1.5% in 2016. Just as it was in the 1980s, Nigeria again, this time, found itself in recession because of the challenge of earnings from oil.”

It was suggested that Islamic finance and bankinh might be the lasting solution to Nigeria’s economic recession. However, some Nigerians feel it is an Islamic system and shouldn’t be practiced while some feel that even though it is an Islamic system, the most important thing is for the country to be at ease once again.