Friday, September 25, 2020 / 1:00 PM
/ Bukola Akinyele for WebTV / Header Image Credit: Prof Asiwaju Busari Shaamsuddeen Akande
Islamic Finance has the potential to serve as a veritable platform for supporting Nigeria in its quest to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Professor Busari Akande, Director West African Operations Chartered Institute of Management and Leadership, United State of America (USA), and Founder of the Islamic Institute of Accounting and Finance, Ilorin, Kwara State; disclosed this as he provided insights on "Islamic Finance, Education & Sustainable Development in Nigeria". Professor Akande was speaking as a guest on WebTV's Islamic Finance Weekly programme.
With the globe turning to climate change, innovative instruments like Green Sukuk according to Professor Akande can fit into the sustainable development strategy of the Nigerian government.
Speaking further he said the Green Sukuk can provide financing and support for the "Solar Energy Project" which is part of the key initiatives in the Economic Sustainability Plan.
Akande said that the goal of the Islamic Institute of Accounting and Finance in Nigeria (IIAFN) is to reposition itself to fit into the 17-point agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the government as the Institute pursues its 2020 to 2030 targets.
Explaining further the scholar said 1 out of the 17 goals is based on Zakat as it can help to reduce poverty, and also Sadaqah which is to provide good health and promote the wellbeing of people in the communities, quality education, gender equality which Islamic finance will assist in achieving all the 17 goals and beyond. "There has to be an enabling policy environment that will put Islamic Finance in a position to facilitate Nigeria's agenda for achieving inclusive growth and the 2030 SDGs," Prof Akande said.
He called for a broadening of Islamic finance education in Nigeria, which will require a lot of awareness and sensitization from stakeholders in the industry.
At the moment he acknowledged that there are 7 Islamic finance institutes in Nigeria and students can graduate from the IIAFN, and later further their education in Banking & Finance.
On the part of IIAFN, he said the Institute has been deepening the area of Islamic Banking Insurance and Capital Market education in Nigeria, across the 36 states in the country, collaborating with many institutions as consultants. This is helping to address unemployment in the country and furthering skills development.
Speaking on IIAFN's collaboration in Nigeria, Africa and globally, he said the collaborations could be divide into two areas; one was with a few universities by 'catching- them-young' (future Islamic finance professionals) from diploma level. He said the Institute has affiliations with African University in LomÃ©, Togo and has produced about 200 graduates in Islamic Banking & Finance, the Institute equally has ties with professional institutes in Malaysia, Pakistan, Dubai, USA, UK and Australia.
Speaking on the criteria of enrolment into the IIAFN and opportunities for graduates of the institute, the Founder explained that from SSCE Certificate and if a person is a graduate of management sciences, such candidate has the essentials for admission while other graduates from other professions could also join to do a 3-month internship with Islamic banks and for diploma students, there is a one-year industrial training (IT) arrangement in any Islamic Microfinance bank.
For graduates who wish to work in the financial service sector and for those that prefer to be entrepreneurs, they would be trained as Islamic Finance Consultants to corporative societies and insurance companies.