Holy whore – By Sam Omatseye

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  • Photo : Omatseye *

It was a parable in finance when the Trojan of works, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) unveiled a cheque of N210 billion from the Sukuk funds.

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This is the third of the tranches. It is naira, not Islam. It might have come from a Muslim ideology about money. But we are spending Islam. We are enjoying it. Sometimes we forget that the idea of Sukuk forbids exorbitant exploitation.

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Modern funding is shylocky. We also forget that the Bible chides those who give their money away in usury. In this light, the protestant ethic has overshadowed the tenets of both holy books.

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Can I hear Max Weber squirming in his German grave?

If you go across the country, you will see roads Sukuk funded. I don’t see any order banning non-Muslims from plying. In some parts of the country, Christians apply their tyres predominantly on such sukuk-funded asphalt. This is the country the Naira proselytises for us.

It recognises no faith, no tribe, no place. It abhors none. It is a sublime harlot, a holy whore. In an age when some would enact a holy war, victory belongs to this holy whore of filthy lucre. You are all welcome whether you say amen or amin, or you foreswear Allah or Jehovah, and pride man over divinity, or spirits over flesh and blood.

I wonder how much we can get out of Sukuk and do away with the vampiric loans from China. They come with headaches and fear and a false sense of luxury. But I am not learned enough in international finance to make judgement yet as to whether we can thrive if we can forgo China shylocks for Sukuk.

I am going to research. But, meanwhile, over to the Trojan and the work that N210 billion will do. A lot is being done, and a lot of roads left to do.

Optimists see the cup half full, pessimists half empty. As the poet Lord Tennyson writes, “Though much is taken, much abides.”

Nigeria is a vast swath, we can take it one kilometre at a time.

That is what the Trojan is doing…

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