Sunday, December 29, 2019 / 4.30PM / Bukola Akinyele for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: ICIEC
The adoption of Shariah-compliant financial solutions will bring transformation to all the critical sectors of the Nigerian economy.
President of the Islamic Corporation For The Insurance Of Investment And Export Credit (ICIEC), Mr. Oussama Kaissi stated this at a recent conference on Islamic Finance in Lagos.
He said Islamic finance could support the Nigeria national development plan to eradicate poverty and improve the distribution of income and create employment opportunities through effective mobilization and allocation of capital.
The ICIEC President told stakeholders at the forum that he was encouraged by the pace of Islamic finance development in Nigeria, especially in the area of Sukuk origination.
According to him, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari tapped into the opportunities provided by the alternative financing market by issuing two Federal Government Sukuk worth N200bn in 2017 and 2018 at N100bn each.
He said the FGN Sukuk issuance was a positive development as it would support infrastructure development (26 Federal Roads) that would impact the Nigerian economy favourably.
Speaking further, Mr. Kaissi highlighted the fact that the Islamic Development Bank Group's funding for Nigeria had reached $1.2bn as of 2018.
He said this comprised of $513m in project finance and $695m in trade finance in addition to technical cooperation assistance and grants.
Mr. Kaissi described Nigeria and Africa as the new frontiers for deepening Islamic Finance globally.
He said the mandate of ICIEC was to facilitate trade between member countries of the Organization of Islamic Countries through Shariah-compliant risk mitigation tools.
Also, it is responsible for the provision of investments and export credit to members of the OIC.
Explaining further, he said the ICIEC serves as the Export and Credit Guarantee Agency of the Islamic Development Bank.
The ICIEC President highlighted the challenge in Africa, which was the ability to mobilize private capital for infrastructure financing.
He noted the retail Sukuk originated in Indonesia and Malaysia, respectively for sustainable development projects as areas Nigerian can explore in deepening the Islamic Finance market.
According to him, "For many governments with limited resources, Islamic social finance is a good complement to traditional capital market instruments in meeting much-needed development in the sanitation, health and education sectors."
He tasked governments in Africa to play their role in the development of impact-investment to mitigate its limited resources by involving the private sector for innovative solutions.
Mr. Kaissi stated that ICIEC had supported businesses in Africa with about $5.8bn, with $2.4bn going to investments and $3.4bn related to Trade, Commerce and import of strategic goods.