Strategic foreign investors, eyeing stakes in Nigeria\'s financial sector, have requested from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), details of regulations governing operations of Islamic banking.
Some of the investors, who visited the country from the United Kingdom, expressed eagerness to establish a new Islamic banking system in the country.
Speaking during a visit to the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), the leader of the delegation and Managing Director of Jaiz International Plc, Mr. Mohammed Mustapha Bintube, stressed that the team was convinced that there were enormous opportunities in the nation\'s financial sector.
He said that they visited Nigeria because its assessed economic friendliness and potentials for growth. He also stated that the nation\'s economy is open to all, irrespective of race or religion.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mr. Mustapha Bello, while addressing the team, stressed that the commission was committed to encouraging foreign investors.
He stressed that Nigeria would do whatever it couldto support the realisation of the Islamic banking system, because he could foresee most of the other banks in the country embracing the idea.
Bello stated that it would be like the case of micro-finance that was spear-headed by the NIPC, when it was managing the World Bank micro-small and medium enterprises (MSME) facility, which was one of the components of micro-finance.
He said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) drafted some regulations, which resulted in many commercial banks embracing micro-finance and so paved way for the small scale petty traders to have access to micro-finance.
Bello was optimistic that the project would prove something similar with other banks wanting to embrace Islamic banking or wanting to create a section of their branches that would have to do with Islamic banking.
His words: \"I can foresee something happening, most of the other banks in Nigeria will definitely embrace it by the time the Central Bank comes out with details of the regulations governing operations of Islamic banking in Nigeria.
\"It is like the case of micro-finance which was spare-headed by us. We are managing the World Bank micro-small and medium enterprises facility and one of the components is micro-finance.\"
Speaking further Bello said that Nigeria needed investment in the mining industry, the transport sector and in refineries, oil and gas and in the manufacturing industry. - Guardian