An Islamic rights organisation, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has called on the federal government to extend the days deadline for its first Sukuk.
Sukuk is a non-interest lease assets facility.
Issued last week by the federal government it would only be available for a six day period.
But in the statement by its president, Professor Ishaq Akintola, MURIC, said the six days deadline was too short.
His words: “Although we commend FG for this historical development, we are disturbed by the short notice of the savings window. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) goofed by giving six days only as deadline when interest based bonds and shares are available for months before the closing date.
“Six days notice is rather too short for a new facility. Afterall, Muslim Finance experts have for several decades been calling for non-interest financial instruments like the sukuk and FG needs to give this first chance a longer time until people get used to it.
“Although it was advertised in one or two newspapers, FG needs to do better than that. A massive media publicity involving all media houses (print and electronic) is necessary for this first outing. CBN also needs to involve all banks. There is no sign at all that the banks are aware or that they are cooperating. With its battalion of experts, CBN should have known better. Or is the sukuk deliberately designed to fail? Is there an anti-Muslim sentiment behind this?”
MURIC said CBN should not only be made to keep the investment window open for at least 6 weeks, all agency banks should be directed to publicise the product throughout all their branches.
The group added that CBN and the Federal Ministry of Information should be directed to give maximum possible publicity to the new facility.
“Nigeria needs this financial instrument as a new initiative to complement its efforts at emerging from the present economic quagmire,” said MURIC.