Friday, December 4,
2020 / 1:00 PM / Bukola Akinyele-Yisau for WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV
The Growth of the non-interest finance market in Nigeria will rely heavily on achieving Islamic finance educational advancement across the country. Dr. Muhammad Yusuf Senior Lecturer and Director Al-Hikmah University Centre for Islamic Economics and Finance, Ilorin, Kwara State, made this point at a recent seminar on the "Development of Islamic Finance Education in Nigeria".
He provided insight into how the Al-Hikmah institution had repositioned itself in Nigeria's education system, by leveraging technology to compete globally. He said the university strives to be one of the leading education service providers globally.
According to him Al-Hikmah as an institution of higher learning offers top-level tech courses such as Cyber Security, Information Technology, Machine Learning (ML) and partners with the Kwara State government, in the area of support to the General Hospital Laboratory.
He said Al-Hikmah has positioned itself to be a competitive University with the enabling environment and policies to drive instrumental Islamic finance education.
In terms of accreditation, he said all courses at Al-Hikmah are fully accredited. He decried the fact that the government has not recognized the private Universities as partners in progress, hence the research facilities and grants provided do not cover them and said that the institution has been marginalized in this regard.
Speaking on Islamic finance courses, he said the institution has developed a curriculum on Islamic Economics and Finance for graduate and postgraduate students and also certifications in Islamic Banking and Finance. According to Yusuf it also has courses with certificates in Islamic wealth distribution.
Speaking on how Nigeria could improve investment in education and technology, Dr. Yusuf explained that investment in education in Nigeria is still low considering the UNESCO standard of 26% of the government's annual budgets. He stated that the current allocation to the education sector was hovering around 10% of the annual budget.
He believed Nigeria could learn from Malaysia that allocates 30% of its budget to education. Giving his views on the matter he noted that if the government could increase investment in education, it would revolutionize the economy and society. He proposed a citizens-based investment approach that is contributory citing the Waqf Endowment, which would allow private institutions to deploy investment funds to the training of students.
The scholar also called for greater collaboration with Nigerians in the diaspora, who could contribute immensely to the development of tertiary education in Nigeria.
In terms of its origin, he pointed out that Al-Hikmah was conceived as a Muslim University, based on the faith of its founder. Speaking on the diversity of the institution, he said it has 7 faculties that have Christians as students. He said there is no discrimination in terms of personnel and human resources.
Giving his views on infrastructure, policy, skills, and funding, he described Nigeria as the most populous black nation on the globe touted as Africa's giant. He gave the example of the University of Ibadan that has close to 500 professors and is ranked 7th in Africa.