By Hammed Shittu
A former member of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Financial Regulation Advisory Council of Experts and now a professor of Islamic law with University of Ilorin, Kwara State, AbdulRazzaq Alaro has advised the CBN to constitute a special tribunal for resolution of Islamic banking related disputes.
Alaro gave the advice in Ilorin, while delivering his 196th inaugural lecture.
He stated that the initiative would also assist the CBN to make necessary amendments into the nation’s law in relation to the Islamic financial banking in the country.
He said that, “it would also guide the apex bank to have a view of giving judges on the Shariah court bench jurisdiction to hear and decide cases relating to Islamic finance. These Shariah court judges are indisputably more competent in this regard than the conventional court judges.”
Alaro stressed that, ” this process will also go a long way to follow the existing precedents that are already in operation in the country where similar needs for specialised know of the subject matter and expertise in related dispute resolution were duly recognised.”
He also canvassed for the Islamic banking operators to be more alive to their responsibility of creating necessary awareness for members of the public on the rudiments of islaimc banking.
This, he said would avoid unnecessary misgivings and misconceptions about the operations.
Alaro also said it would go a long way in expanding the customer base of these institutions as more people become acquainted with their unique benefits and advantages.
He also urged the bankers and other providers of Islamic financial services to improve on the standard of documentation of Islamic financial contracts used in defining the relationship with the customer’s.
He said there should be full disclosure of all rights and duties under the contract must be emphasised at all times.
Alaro also urged the Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS) to provide a level playing field on taxation for conventional and Islamic financial services in the country.
He also called on the FIRS to take note of specificities of Islamic banking and finance operation and accordingly provide a tax friendly regime that will not stifle the growth of Islamic banking in the country.