Nigerian Islamic Banking Market hits 28b USD

The managing director of Jaiz International Plc Alhaji Mohammed Bintube has said that Islamic banking market in Nigeria has grown to N4.35 trillion (US$ 27.7 billion).

Bintube who was one of the speakers at the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA)second innovation forum entitled: “Increasing Access to Finance through Islamic (Non – interest) Banking held in Abuja on Wednesday said with challenges facing Islamic finance in Nigeria, the banking market size is estimated at N4.35 trillion as at December 2008.

EFInA, an independent professional, non-profit organisation conceived and funded by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Ford Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was set up to promote financial development in Nigeria, hosted its second innovation forum titled: “Increasing Access to Finance through Islamic (Non – interest) Banking, at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

According to the chief executive officer, EFInA Modupe Ladipo, the result from EFInA’s Access to Finance 2008 Survey showed that 68 million Nigerians representing 79 per cent of the adult population are unbanked.

The survey, she said also highlighted that 92 per cent and 86 per cent of the adult population in the Northwest and Northeast geo political zones respectively is unbanked.

Ladipo said in the light of the findings, Islamic finance was considered as a potential innovative approach to increase access to finance for the unbanked.

“Islamic banking is very topical both globally and locally. Globally, it is being discussed as innovative, profitable and ethical in light of the global financial crisis, especially due to volatile interest rates. In Malaysia, Bangladesh and Pakistan, it has created access to finance. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently released the draft framework for Non – Interest banking, which was in response to the growing interest by investors and banks to establish non – interest banks and it’s one of the FSS 2020 initiative, which seeks to make Nigeria one of the top 20 economies by the year 2020.

Other international guest speakers were Mr. Omar Shaikh and Mr. Safter Sarwar from Islamic Finance Council, UK, a not for profit organisation established to promote the Islamic finance industry both locally and globally. Mr Shaikh and Mr. Sarwar shared their views on the state of the global Islamic Finance Industry, and highlighted that the industry is worth approximately one trillion dollars and growing between 15 per cent and 20 per cent per annum.

Commenting on the surge of the Islamic Finance, the D-8 Secretary General, Dipo Alam, says that the D-8 member countries should focus more on developments in this sector, such as Syari’ah Banking system, and Islamic Bonds, since they have growned to be a powerful tool in the financial world that even Western, non-Islamic banks are starting to eye for a share on this financial system and plans to assign London as the center for Syari’ah Banks, and Islamic Bonds.

“So we should be rolling up our sleeves, and start to work on this issue to keep pace with the world”, he says. D-8 has an approximately 900 million population with large moslem majority, and is supposed to be also a major actor in this Islamic financial system.

source : Dtrust

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