Dear President Tinubu, your economic policies have shortchanged the Muslim Ummah.
I greet you with uttermost respect, my prayers and loyalty are with you. I hope this message will reach you in good health.
I have listened to your National Broadcast tonight 31/7/2023 where you spoke to Nigerians about your economic policies and interventions to remedy the harsh effect of removal of petrol subsidy on Nigerians. This is indeed a good gesture and evidence that your government is listening to the yearnings of its citizens. Kudos.
As you rightly mentioned in your speech, that you will speak to Nigerians in plain language without too much economic jargons so that we understand where you stand, I will like to borrow your leaf Mr. President.
Without mincing words, the Muslim Community in Nigeria, cannot be able to benefit from the 3 major economic interventions you have mentioned, as they contain at least 9% interest on the proposed loans namely;
1 N75bn credit to manufacturing enterprises at 9% interest.
2 The fund of N500,000 to N1million at 9% interest per annum to 100,000 MSMEs
3. Provision to invest N100 billion in transportation industry, where transport companies can access credit under this facility at 9% per annum with 60 months repayment period.
Mr. President, The Holy Qur’an stated categorically in Surah Baqara Chapter 2 : 278-279
…يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَذَرُواْ مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ ٱلرِّبَوٰٓاْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤۡمِنِينَ
“O Believers, fear Allah and give up that interest which is still due to you, if you are true Believers; but if you do not do so, then you are warned of the declaration of war against you by Allah and His Messenger….”
This is a stern warning from Almighty Allah.
Therefore, no true Muslim can go against the teachings of The Holy Qur’an in the hope of getting some worldly temporary economic benefits. Hence the 3 categories of loans stated above excluded Muslim community because of the above verse and many of its like in the Holy Qur’an.
Mr President, these interventions are aimed to cushion the pains of our people across socio-economic brackets, then what is the government going to benefits from the added interests on the loans? Why not make it a soft loan? I urged Mr President to please look in to this issue and remove the interest on the loans.
However, if you and your your advisers insist on the interest, then we humbly request you to kindly discuss it with economic experts of Islamic finance, and see how you can make it affordable to Muslim community. There are various Islamic ways of giving loans; finance trusteeship, equity partnership or any other acceptable agreement.
Thank you and May Allah bless Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Umar Ibrahim Tafida
Azare, Bauchi State.