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Offline sheriff 05

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Re: North's vicious circle of Poverty
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2008, 01:31:30 PM »
Assalamu alaikum,
Facinating stuff Jack, I must say I honestly applaud the way you throw challenges and questions on Islamic issues. That is the true spirit of Islam. The spirit of open debate, discussion and sharing of ideas, towards achieving greater enlightenment for all, as long as you make yourself open to learn. The question though is, are you open to learn? (honest?).

Ok, I will attempt to address the issues you have raised by simply saying that Islam and Shariah serve as core enablers of economic development and not barriers. This is because, the Islamic civilisation is essentially a faith driven civilisation. Infact, most of the advancements of the Islamic empire in fields as diverse as medicine, astronomy, mathematics, physics, economics, philosophy etc emerged and blossomed due to the strength of Islam and shariah; and its core focus on humanity and human advancements. Have you heard of polymaths? Go to wikipedia and search for the term. Nearly all early polymaths were Muslims doing fascinating stuff when Europe was very much in the dark ages). (and therefore I correspondingly argue that most of our failures resulting in lawlessness, Murder, “terrorism”, etc, all emanate from the Muslims neglect of the understanding of the core values of Islam, but alas that is for another thread).

Now let me attempt to answer your questions.

Regarding Islamic finance:

While there are others, the fundamental basis of Islamic finance is built around 3 key prohibitions as reflected in the Quran and in the sunnah:
1.   The prohibition of Interest:
2.   The prohibition of “uncertainty” within transactions i.e. you must not sell that which you don’t have possession of.
3.   The prohibition of Speculation: Not commercial speculation evident in most commercial transactions, but gambling, hedging, etc.

Now your specific concerns

The prohibition of Interest.

Interest in Islam is not synonymous with profit as you have alluded to. Interest according to shariah is simply put “money earning money”. It refers to money being used as a “commodity” in itself “rented” out and from which a fixed amount or percentage is earned in return. Please note that the prohibition here is not on “loaning” money out (which is permissible), but the rental which that money in itself is expected to earn. In the context of business transactions, where the money is loaned out based on a percentage basis built around potential profit as well as loss then that is permissible, because it accounts for realities in which the potential return on Investment is unknown. Therefore, such a percentage ensures that both positive and negative returns of Investment are shared by both parties (i.e. profit and loss).

To use your example, if you have $100, you can loan it out to your neighbour for a business transaction on say 10% profit/loss share arrangement. The fundamental difference here is that if he succeeds you get 10% but if he fails then you also loose. The rental value (or interest rate) must be fixed prior to the transaction being carried out, that is permissible but the transaction must take into account that no profit may be made at all; or potentially may result in a loss, in which case you stand to loose some part of your wealth. That is the basic difference.

Emanating from that is the question of interest rates. Based on the above, interest rates are not forbidden in Islam, because as you have quite rightly said, they are a measure used by central banks to determine ideal costs of borrowing at a given time but what Islam teaches is that all transactions carried out must be governed by a balanced system of risk sharing between parties. Therefore going back to your Neighbour example, the percentage can change, that is permissible only when the fixed change is agreed prior to the transaction and also, as long as the transaction itself is governed by such risk sharing methods.

You must understand that Islam is built on social cohesion and mutual interdependency between Individuals, communities and societies. Therefore, what is sought is always a means to ensure that while individuals have the sufficient framework to advance themselves and aspire to great things, all parties are adequately protected from potential exploitation and hardship. 

Regarding the Quran borrowing from the old testament

Jack you mention that Islam borrows the prohibition of Interest from the old testament. This shows that you don’t quite grasp the concept of Islam (not merely the name of the religion) and its relationship with other faiths. You see Jack, Islam did not start with the prophet Muhammad (SAW). In fact, Muslims believe that the religion of God has always been 1 religion preached through history. The fundamental basis i.e. Monotheism has always been the same as preached by Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Solomon, Jesus, and all the other great personalities (which Muslims believe in). The message is thus the same, and Muslims believe that all prophets came to guide people back to the original message. Hence, while variations do exist accounting for human advancements through time, or socio-economic/political situations of the time, the fundamental message is and has always been the same i.e. there is only one God and He (i.e. the prophet speaking at that time) is the messenger of God. That accounts for the consistency in many areas and the massive similarities between the 3 “abrahamic” religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, including the concept of Interest as you remarked above.

Capitalism vs Mercantilism

This is an issue for which I agree with you JACK, and where I feel Hajia Husna, you are wrong. Islam does not ban capitalism. It also does not ban, capitalism, socialism, welfarism, mercantilism or any other economic system. That is a fundamental mis-understanding which many people have. It is like going into a restaurant and saying Islam bans “steak and chips”.

What Islam does is provide a framework around which you may build any economic system which suits you. It only highlights those things which you must avoid. That is all. Thus if a people decide that capitalism is best for them, excellent, so long as Islamic principles are adhered to. Similarly if mercantilism is preferred, again excellent. That is why the Quran makes no direct reference to any “system”, but simply highlights those things which are forbidden as part of any transaction. It accounts for the fact that societies differ, civilisations differ and generations differ. Therefore such differences will inevitably give rise to more innovative products and ways of doing things. Islam is a very flexible religion that does not impose, but simply provides sign posts of pitfalls to be avoided. So long as such pitfalls are avoided, then the system whatever it may be will emerge as permissible. Thus, using the steak and chips example above, it will simply say that the meat used for the stake should be halal, and if so, enjoy your meal!

Islam encourages individuality and limited government interference within the real economy, except on a regulatory capacity and to ensure Justice to all parties. It preaches that we should all seek the favours of Allah and it is He who provides, thus debasing the notion of dependency on others. In advocating social and charitable projects as a means to God’s pleasure, it implies that individuals should therefore seek the means through which they can carry out such ventures while meeting their personal and family needs. This requires economic development and perhaps some capitalist ideals.

Drawing from Islamic history, during the time of the prophet and the rightly guided Khalifs, the role of the state was in certain key areas, i.e. Ensuring Security; Ensuring equal justice for all; Providing Infrastructure; Promoting education; Enhancing social capital and generally creating a conducive atmosphere for all round development. Economic development as they defined it, fundamentally hinged on competency, means and confidence (for further information on this, read “Mudaddima” by Ibn Khaldun, one of the best books on politics, economics and societies ever). And the role of state was to create an environment in which all three blossomed.

While I am in no way saying mercantilism was forbidden, it was not exactly the mode of transaction during the time of the Prophet (SAW) and the rightly guided caliphs. Interference in individual transactions (which mercantilism was riddled with) was not carried out except during the latter years of the Islamic empire.

The difference between Muraba, Ijara and non-Islamic financial instruments

Your assessment of Murabaha is correct exept for 1 salient omission. You are correct in saying a fixed amount is charged for repayment over a given period. But as I have explained above, that is entirely permissible within Islam and does not constitute interest. It is infact profit and profit is very much allowed. This is because the commodity being traded is the “house” and not “money”. Thus the fixed charge with added percentage is profit, determined by a rate, all permissible in Islam. (but such a rate must be fixed at the time of the transaction and may perhaps not be referred to as “interest” rate).

Now the salient omission (and thus the fundamental difference with mortgages), is that the property in question is bought by the bank (and thus it becomes the owning party) and is then sold to you (or me) at cost + profit (fixed at the time of purchase). While the repayment period can be negotiated, this overcomes two distinct issues forbidden in Islam:

1.   Fluctuations of repayment rates arising due to variations in Interest rates during the repayment period.
2.   The purchase of the property by the bank and then selling it to you creates a 2 party business transaction in which the selling party actually has the commodity at hand before selling it, hence overcoming the ban on selling what you don’t have.

So unlike interest rates, the repayment amount is fixed at the time of the transaction (or an agreed formula is to be used) and is not subject to the variations of interest rates. By owning the property at the time of the transaction, the “uncertainity” prohibition has been overcome. It also means that, it is the property that is being traded for a profit (which is permissible) and not the money to buy the property being traded for a profit (which is not permissible). Therefore, in borrowing your words Jack, I am not “fooling” myself in knowing (not thinking) that these instruments differ from traditional mortgages and very much conform to the teachings of Islam.

The place of Shariah in Economics.

Shariah has an immensely positive effect on economics because it provides a framework around which transactions between individuals can be very easily and effectively carried out in a manner mutually beneficial to both parties. The problem is not that of shariah Jack, but the sad inability of we as Muslims to understand Economics on the one hand with all its beautiful innovations, and also Shariah with all its very simple and fundamental concerns, ultimately proffering lasting solutions that serve the desired goal, i.e. the benefit of humanity.

Sadly though, where we fail in understanding the economics and how to get the best out of it, you fail in understanding the Shariah and what it says and does not say. You must understand the concept of Islam first, including its spirit in order to understand its restrictions. It provides social guidance on what to avoid but then says, anything not prohibited is therefore allowed. Thus it allows for infinite innovations to cater to emergent human needs with minimal restrictions to ensure that the goal of “benefit to humanity” is always sought.

Thus, where we see failures in certain societies, widespread ignorance, lack of eduction, an indiscriminate disregard for life, corruption, conflict, tribalism, backwardness, etc (I was trying not to say Northern Nigeria), the fault remains ours as Muslims and not the message of Islam. To paraphrase an African-American saying Jack, “Hate the PLAYER, don’t hate the GAME”.

Hope this helps. I also have some words about the way out of poverty in Northern Nigeria but that would be for another time Insha Allah

As-salam alaikum


Offline HUSNAA

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Re: North's vicious circle of Poverty
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2008, 05:31:10 PM »
Assalamu alaikum,


Capitalism vs Mercantilism

This is an issue for which I agree with you JACK, and where I feel Hajia Husna, you are wrong. Islam does not ban capitalism. It also does not ban, capitalism, socialism, welfarism, mercantilism or any other economic system. That is a fundamental mis-understanding which many people have. It is like going into a restaurant and saying Islam bans “steak and chips”.





Hold it right there Mallam Sheriff, where in my write up did I mention that Islam banned capitalism? I wrote Islam allowed mercantilism (not capitalism) not in the sense of negating capitalism but in emphasising that mercantilism is not exactly the same as capitalism. At any rate if we are honest with our selves the sort of exploitative capitalism practiced by the west (deindustrialization where by extremely cheap asian labor is employed and the returns or profits on investment  are astronomical ) is haram in Islam.
Ghafurallahi lana wa lakum

Offline sheriff 05

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Re: North's vicious circle of Poverty
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2008, 08:28:49 PM »
Apologies Hajia Husna I realise I may have put words in your mouth.

Offline neozizo

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Re: North's vicious circle of Poverty
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2008, 12:41:07 PM »
I know a chap who has this good idea of how to make decent mordern housing affordable for the rural poor.
His target is the poorest communities/states of nothern nigeria.
No 1 problem is funding.
Because his project is not really commercially attractive for financiers (people who have no initiatives only loads of money), his noble and humane intentions still remain just dreams....
So like my friend always likes to say- the poor can get rich only if the rich will get richer

Quote from: Jack Fulcher
When the interest rate goes up, more money is made available for loans.
Sure but most people cant afford to take loans then.

Break it down for me some please Jack, in an economy like nigeria's where there are more uncertain variables of donig business and probability of making a loss in business is extremly high(although not as high as intrest rates) how is the Shari'ah's prohibition of interest bad for economic development?

The credit card culture which i understand is based on lending money charged at intrest only creates an illusion of wealth which is unfortunate cos western economies like to tout it as a measure of good standard of living
Even more unfortunate is the fact that it has started to creep into developing economies.

Offline Dave_McEwan_Hill

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Re: North's vicious circle of Poverty
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2008, 01:27:36 PM »
neozizo

Very good points. On credit cards, most of them charging alarming rates of interest, the UK now has personal debt equal to the total personal debt of all of Africa and all of South America combined. The charging of interest on loaned money automatically writes inflation into Western economies. Many people in UK have no more credit and are using a huge part of their disposable income paying interest on credit card debt so sales of everything are dropping, prices are rising to cover shortfall in turnover and businesses are going to the wall all over the place
Capitalism operates well as long as there are plenty of people and lots of underdeveloped countries and economies to exploit.
It operates on the false premise that production and the selling and distribution of produced goods has infinite capacity for expansion.
The economies of the Indian sub continent and China are rapidly overhauling the economies of Europe and the USA which are living on borrowed time and vast cash overborrowing not only by business but also by the nations themselves.
The UK's national debt has tripled over the last ten years. The US economy is now at the mercy of the Chinese who hold huge amounts of US currency.
We will see a new world order in the next few years. Perhaps the US and the UK will have not enough money to invade and occupy other people's countries.
maigemu

Offline HUSNAA

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Re: North's vicious circle of Poverty
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2008, 01:44:36 PM »
What I like about you Maigemu is fadar gaskiya komai dacinta.
Ghafurallahi lana wa lakum

Offline Dave_McEwan_Hill

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Re: North's vicious circle of Poverty
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2008, 11:35:03 PM »
Husnaa

Don't know "dacinta"
maigemu

Offline HUSNAA

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Re: North's vicious circle of Poverty
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2008, 12:44:31 AM »
dacinta means its bitterness.
Daci means bitter or bitterness
Fadar gaskiya komai dacinta... telling the truth no matter how bitter it is
Ghafurallahi lana wa lakum

Offline neozizo

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Re: North's vicious circle of Poverty
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2008, 03:59:34 PM »
Quote from: Dave_McEwan_Hill
Capitalism operates well as long as there are plenty of people and lots of underdeveloped countries and economies to exploit.
It seems its in the best intrest of the west for us to be perpertualy poor.

Husnaa is right about u Dave.
I feel the same way too
I remember how i always respected ur views about a discussion we had a while back in this forum about how petroleum was/is a curse to Nigeria.

Still waiting Jack
 
 
« Last Edit: August 20, 2008, 04:02:14 PM by neozizo »

Offline Dave_McEwan_Hill

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Re: North's vicious circle of Poverty
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2008, 11:11:30 PM »
I look forward to what there is on Kano Online every day. God willing things will improve in Nigeria and I live long enough to see it (and even get back there for a visit). I would love to be able to say to my grand-daughter "Let's go and visit your mother's country. It's doing well" But it is up to Nigerians - and the solutions to the problems of the north lie with Northeners
maigemu

Offline Jack Fulcher

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Re: North's vicious circle of Poverty
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2008, 01:58:15 AM »
"Still waiting Jack"  Yes, and I owe you and others a response in this thread, but I hate to say that there just aren't enough hours in the day and my job has be backed up, plus my sweet wife, the one who gives my life direction through her delicate orders, has planned a little vacation for us and the dogs starting tomorrow morning.  We'll drive up the Oregon coast, stopping wherever it looks good and drive down when we're bored.  I've never been up the Oregon coast, so this should be fun.  However, this means that I cannot respond in any satisfactory way until I return after 9/1.  I'm really sorry, because I'd like to respond to all of the great points made by the several contributors here.  I have time for one or two quick statements only (OK, who said "hooray!"?  A little decorum, please.)

I really want to read and digest sherrif 05's post, as it seems to be very thorough and contains a lot of important stuff.  I'll print it out and take it with me - I promise not to let the dogs eat my homework. 

A couple of comments on Husnaa's post.  First, I never said I couldn't find evidence that the Qur'an prohibits usury - that prohibition is very clear and easily found.  What I couldn't find was proof of your statement that the Qur'an allows mercantilism but not capitalism.  I find no mention of either - just a couple of references to trade.  Trade is fine, but ownership gives the incentive to produce what people want and to price those goods efficiently.  The mercantilists were simply a step toward capitalist production and distribution.  It was a step away from feudalism, which is one of the problems the developing world still has, including Africa. 

Second, I need to read this paragraph a few times more:

"You said that Mubaraha and Ijara are no different than charging interest. Well there is a difference. I have never taken a mortgage loan in my life but I believe what happens is that the bank gives you a loan which you have to pay with the accruing (compound?) interest rate, after a certain number of years. It doesnt matter if your property becomes devalued  during the period of repayment, you'd still have to end up repaying what ever was the  loan (fair enough) and the interest ( unfair in the light of the devalued property) thus exposing the debtor to risk. In the Mubaraha, and ijara, you go into an agreement with the bank which buys up a property that interests you and then the bank sells it to you at an agreed mark up price in which you can either pay lump sum or instalmentally. There is no issue of rental with mubaraha (or so I have read), that comes when mortgage payment type is ijara. That is when the property is leased out to the buyer by the bank after the bank buys the property. What I am not sure of is whether one pays  separate amounts for the renting and at the same time pays for acquiring the property from the bank or not. At any rate, the creditor in these transactions (M. or I) is more liable to exposure to some kind of risk rather than the debtor. Therefore becos of the risk involved, the creditor cant be said to be charging interest for the profit he makes from the transaction and it is a kind of win-win situation for both creditor and debtor because the creditor (the bank in this instance)is more capable of withstanding any risks and remaining solvent rather than the debtor."

I'm not really sure what all this means, but are you trying to say that the prohibition against charging interest is designed to remove the risk of a financial transaction?  And that the Qur'an prohibits the assumption of financial risk by the Muslim?  I really don't think that this is what the Qur'an says, mainly because it's impossible to get rid of the risk.  No matter what financing method is used, risk is always there and someone pays for the consequences of bearing the risk.

I really have to go.  Have a good and productive week, my friends, and I'll talk with you later.  Jack


 

Offline neozizo

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Re: North's vicious circle of Poverty
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2008, 09:33:56 AM »
Wish u great vacation.

Hopefully, one day, u might love to spend it in notherrn Nigeria.
Sai ka dawo

Offline Dave_McEwan_Hill

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Re: North's vicious circle of Poverty
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2008, 11:32:07 AM »
A serious outbreak of constructive comment is breaking out all over Kano Online.
maigemu

Offline Nuruddeen

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Re: North's vicious circle of Poverty
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2008, 10:32:29 PM »
Re: North's vicious circle of Poverty

In the 26/07/08 edition of Weekly Trust Newspaper is the cover story with the above title, which discussed the poverty phenomenon in Northern Nigeria in the light of the much attention the issue has garnered in recent times, especially when the Central Bank of Nigeria’s governor,  Professor Charles Soludo drew attention to it - though reiterating what he once said a year past - at a lecture organised by the Northern Development Initiative in Kaduna,  some weeks ago, asking the federal government to declare the situation in the North, a national crisis.

Many people differ on the different causes and solutions to the problem as it affects the region and the country in general. While some of us are quick to identify with positions as that of Mallam Salihu Lukman, a development Economist interviewed in the same edition of the paper, which squarely blamed it on the leadership of Northern Nigeria, that cannot, among other things, fully account for the 17 Trillion Naira it collected from the federal coffers between 1999 to 2007, in the light of efforts at poverty alleviation. Others, as our brothers across the Niger, will rather blame the religion and culture of Northerners as the main culprit, with the justification that the Northern leaders are not any worse than the Southern leaders and yet the Southerners are better up, so the explanation must be in the values, religion and culture of Northerners, or at a stretched imagination, laziness – as seen in certain statement issued by Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and reported by The Punch of 31/07/08. This perception is further strengthened by the content an interview conducted by the Weekly’s reporter, Ja’afar Ja’afar and published in the same edition, under a title that says it all, ‘I was given N50, 000 capital, but I married with it’, and described Mallam Garba, the interviewed, as  “a real-life stereotype of a Hausa man.”, who cares not about, “what to eat or what to wear” and is “very indifferent, un ambitious and a man with a simplistic outlook to life.”


This piece intends to scrutinise the two positions advanced, in the hope of providing insight into the nature of the processes that led the North to this sorry state economically.

Here it is important to understand the fact that there is a wide gap of difference between, culture, religion, values on one side, and in this context, from world view, which typifies the behaviour of an average Northerner like Mallam Garba. The truth of the matter is religion or culture has little to do with human taste, instinct and desire to survive on a certain standard. It only governs choices on how to achieve a standard. This is why we see a lot of Northerners who are not like Mallam Garba in style, despite them sharing same religion, culture and values with him.

A close examination will reveal that the mechanism of progress that made the Hausa the most vibrant and enterprising nation in the whole of West Africa, at a time of the past, is still here. It is also not laziness as, today; nobody comes from any region to farm for them the food they survive on daily.  It is like those seeking for an answer to why the Northern Nigeria is in its state now despite the fact of its elite holding power in the composition of the present Nigerian nation-state for over 40 years, should try some reading in classical power and relational politics and its implication on groups’ socio-economic development. In this, one will see that the North is where it is today only in respect to the popular saying that one cannot eat their cake and still have it as it is with all other natural phenomena.

The seemingly correct explanation is the Northern elite, who are responsible for  expanding the paradigm and worldview of  average Northerners situating them at par with their counter parts across the world,  got power, in the composition of Nigerian nation, in the late 1950s and in order to keep to it they chose the option of eliminating the middle class among them, because the likely thing to happen is the middle class, if allowed, might grow in economy, influence and strength enough to wrench power from the upper class. This is what happened when Gowon in the early 70s and Shagari in the late 70s, allowed their own to grow strong in the military. They just did away with them in 1975 and 1984 respectively and clung to power making sure they did not make the same mistake their predecessors made. They continued the practice of axing their own economically, intellectually and otherwise.

On the other side, the other regions, with especial example of Awo of the South West, were not faced with anything of political control of Nigeria and as such they continued to strengthen their middle class as the upper class realized the need to empower their own as a comprehensive defence against the onslaught of Northern upper class elite. The middle class served as an armoury to the upper class. They continued the battle for them until the early nineties when IBB annulled the popular June 12 election.

Then came the climaxes, the June 12 was ethnicised and regionalised, the South West had a good number of media outfits and middle class individuals with the right education and economic resources to sustain the fight while in the North of early nineties, very few among the middle class could do well in countering the others in the intellectual fight at the level of resources. At the end of the day, after the demise of Abacha, the Northern elite were confronted with no option than to dash power to the South West in 1999. They have won the fight.

When Obasanjo realized his bearing and started targeting these Northern elites it still remained that they had none to defend them save the few middle class created during Abacha regime under the Buhari PTF. Many young Northerners then have merited contracts and made a couple of millions. They were the ones who established focused media houses, maintained Newspaper columns, and started getting back at Obasanjo and his policies.

And of course, the era of Obasanjo was the era of South West participating in national politics. Even though they already have a vibrant middle class, and sound economic structure that benefited from the regime's economic considerations at the centre, it is evident that they also suffered from what the North earlier on suffered from as their elite started a war of control of the region's social and cultural resources. This war recorded many casualties as even people like Bola Ige had to take exit, brutally killed.  Also the control politics did not allow their governors to work in unison with progress of the region. In fact they were rated among the worst in performance.
On his part, Obasanjo had to seek for his loyalist outside his own region because trusting and elevating his regional men in the centre may lead to excessive ambition which in turn may result in a palace coup akin to what happened to his predecessors like Gowon and Shagari and their people whom they trusted with the leadership of the military.

This is about the story of Northerners in Nigeria and what came up in their economic development. It is also the reason why there was no time when Northerners talked much about their economy more than the time of Obasanjo’s leadership. Being it they left the leadership position of the country and the upper class were being attacked by Obasanjo mercilessly. Of course, it was also then that the leadership in the North achieved most, more than the many years it clung to power at the centre.

This is why some of us think the North can have meaningful economic development only if power is made to stay away from its elite for several years while others think, Northerners may have learnt their lessons and will now work assiduously to develop the region. 
The whole of this truth is particularly important to stress here given the pronouncements of the governor of Niger State, Alhaji Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, who tried to attribute the present economic predicament of the North, as widely reported by Newspapers around the country, to an obscure international conspiracy.

If indeed there was a conspiracy it was a Northern Political Class Conspiracy which lost itself in the game of control politics over time.

 As it is now the solution to the problem is not one of a short term as the generation of youths without the relevant  skills necessary for survival in formal economy now as the ones to be produced in the recent future are very much in the league of the 86% -  quoted percentage of the poor - among us. So an affirmative action, with the intent of taking care of our distant future, which appeals to laws and legislations, is the only options. The solution, though good, is not totally in the much taunted, revitalisation of the Agricultural Sector in the North, for Anambra State that is among the highest in the country’s economic index is not an agricultural haven or oil reservoir. After all the Agricultural Sector, if revitalised, may end up serving the economic need of others if there is no enough skilled manpower with right national and international market strategies among the Northerners. Here it is particularly important for the government to invest hugely in human capital development as Northerners need to have more of a world class exposure in various disciplines both academic and entrepreneurial,  necesary for survival in the capitalist world.
 
We certainly, also, cannot continue in the pretentions of creating welfare states. No how can a government continue to afford a free education for all as the Bauchi State House of Assembly is recently heard to be saying it would put Qur’anic Schools and its Almajirai in the state’s budget. This is not practicable as even the formal Western Type of schools that are government owned are not maintained adequately. In fact the example of Kano State which tried to do that as reported in the same edition of Weekly Trust is not encouraging.

So instead of us to continue sailing the dream boat, legislations must be made and enforced that will compel parents to bear more the responsibilities of the children they produce – since religiously it is their duty - as they sometimes recklessly and indiscriminately marry without regard to religious injunctions in keeping and maintaining a family. Thus they send the children out to others cities, hawking and scavenging as Almajirai, in the Qur’anic Schools they could always find in their own villages. It is these Almajirai , growing in the streets with a very bad taste of what life is, with wrong upbringing, wrong heroes, wrong worldview and wrong skills of survival in the 21st century world, that  form the bulk of the poor people in Northern Nigeria.

Also such legislations must lead to the creation of agencies, as in other Muslim African countries, like Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, which will be saddled with the responsibilities of accessing the economic and mental worth of anybody who intends to marry or add another wife as many among us are tilted toward abusing the privilege associated with polygamy by placing satisfaction that comes from their being with many wives above their responsibilities of seeing to the maintenance of the family. They plan to produce as many children as they can without planning to give them the best as the religion requires of them. As such we end up with many children that cannot be catered for adequately by their parents, growing in the streets with a terrible taste of what life is, with no abilities to think and save themselves or even those around them in the context of the challenges daily living presents.

It is my humble opinion that family is the barometer of all communities, and keeping political correctness aside, we will need to understand governance as meaning making attempts to make subjects of a defined community disciplined and responsible in all of their dealings and this starts with the channels and processes of procreation in the community. Failure to address issues at this level signals the triumph of anarchy as it is seen in the threat we are facing from the monsters of poverty in Northern Nigeria due to, largely, among other things, our neglect of legal provisions in the formation of family units in both religion and our secular living.


My friend Ibrahim Waziri,
 
You really made a very interesting observation, which is quite commendable. I think you have said it all, but the problem of poverty in Northern Nigeria is what my friend Dave said in one of his reply to you i.e. the problem of the North lies with the Northerners. I have xrayed all the posts and what everybody said from different points of view. However, I differ in opinion with all what Jack was trying to assert. Indeed, the explanation  from Sheriff was quite astounding. He took his time delving into the crux of the matter with passion.

Mine is to engage anyone of you here in any argument or debate on the"matter at issue" which has hitherto remain but a calamity to every northerner living within and in diaspora. When I see people like Adamu Adamu of Daily Trust Newspaper decending on Prof Soludo vehemently, I feel completely bemused. Many writers from northern extraction condemnd what he said. But I think Soludo is right. My very good friend Garba Deen Muhammad made a lengthy treatise on the issue of Soludo's much ado about the North, to which he said was sarcastic in approach.

My only problem with Soludo's critics is: if Soludo could be blamed for phasing out northerners from Nigeria's scheme of things, one should then ask: who allowed him to do what he likes? Was it not the northerners that allowed thembselves to be driven like a rudderless ship that lost bearing focus and direction?

Ibrahim Waziri, I have to really symphathise with you fro not receiving the desired comments from most of the Kanoonline advocates. Majority have not understood the context of your own writings-except Dave-Ewan-Hill. He was the only person that really unveiled what you wrote.

The issue is:

There is need for northerners to quickly go back to the basics. We need to formulate policies and rules that will prevent people from unprecedented marriages that usually do'nt last. There is the need for government to start furnishing those that are fond of adding wives and producing several children that they could not educate and take care of. I know people will criticise you over what you hypothesize, but in the long run I assure you they will begin to see reasons into what you said.

I remain your humble friend Jibo.

o try and fail is atleast to learn. That will save one the inestimable loss of what might have been (positive or negative).

Offline HUSNAA

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Re: North's vicious circle of Poverty
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2008, 03:16:49 PM »

Ibrahim Waziri, I have to really symphathise with you fro not receiving the desired comments from most of the Kanoonline advocates. Majority have not understood the context of your own writings-except Dave-Ewan-Hill. He was the only person that really unveiled what you wrote.



I remain your humble friend Jibo.[/color][/b]

That was a rather pompous statement on yr part Nuruddeen JIbo. Poverty in the North is not precipitated by indiscriminate marriages amongst the northern poor. The indiscriminate marriages are one of the consequent effects of the poverty rather than the cause. According to Waziri, the reason for the incessant poverty in the North had its roots in the 'deliberate destruction' of the middle class by the upper class. Well I'm not so sure that that is a reason, however, I wont contradict since he knows Nigeria's post colonial and contemporary history better than I, not having studied it at all. However I reiterate that education and good leadership are the key to the solution of poverty in the north. At least in that Waziri and I are in agreement since he talks about investing quote "hugely in human capital development as Northerners need to have more of a world class exposure in various disciplines both academic and entrepreneurial,  necesary for survival in the capitalist world." unquote.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 03:18:33 PM by HUSNAA »
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