Friday, February 12, 2021 / 1:00PM / by Bukola Akinyele-Yisau for WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV
Islamic Finance will be integrated into the proposed Capital Market studies curriculum for secondary schools and tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Mr Akeem Oyewale the Chief Executive Officer, Marble Capital Limited and member of SEC Capital Market Financial Literacy Committee disclosed this while speaking on "Financial Literacy and Economic Development in Nigeria".
According to him, Financial literacy covers different aspects of finance such as deposit, lending or securities where people can invest in. He said Financial Literacy is critical due to the fact that people need knowledge on what to do with their day-to-day earnings, where they can invest their money and how it will be beneficial to them and ultimately to the economy at large.
For Islamic financial literacy, Oyewale explained that knowledge is still poor in Nigeria. He noted that the main purpose of Islamic Finance is for people to understand that there is an alternative form of financing, which can give them the opportunity to manage their financial needs and get access to financial resources.
"This gives confidence when investing in ethical investment, Islamic Finance also helps government and authorities to raise money in order to provide social finance to the populace" He said.
The expert cited Sukuk as the most visible Islamic Finance product globally which the federal government of Nigeria has issued on three occasions which where all oversubscribed. Islamic Finance according to him is not only for Muslims but for everybody that believes in investment that will add value to them and the community.
Speaking on how the SEC Financial Literacy Committee can create awareness on the Islamic finance market, he commended the efforts of the regulator in setting up the FLTC which brought together key stakeholders in the market to enhance Islamic Financial Literacy.
He said efforts have been made by the FLTC to ensure the inclusion of capital market studies into secondary school curriculum and funds have been raised by the capital market authority through the CMC (capital market committee) and the necessary engagement with agencies responsible for enforcing improved curriculum activities for Nigeria including Islamic finance.
Oyewale also pointed out that as part of efforts to deepen Financial Literacy Education, the Nigeria Stock Exchange created a comic book that detailed in simple terms what Financial Literacy is all about.
He added that efforts have been made to enhance Financial Literacy awareness both from secondary schools, tertiary and also to artisans, market men and women.
On effective ways of communicating the value of Islamic finance to retail investors and Nigerians in accordance with shariah principles, The Marble CEO explained that Islamic finance is a mix of that ensures anyone engaging in financial transactions, will know that Riba/interest is prohibited, and transactions are based on profit sharing ratios; and there must be an asset backing all transactions in Islamic Finance.
According to him, The Non-Interest Finance Association in Nigeria (NIFAN) oversees all the financial transactions in the ecosystem and spread the message across the country as to the value of Islamic Finance.
He was optimistic that Islamic finance has created value which is manifest in the Sukuk issued by the FGN and the Sub-National Sukuk issued by Osun State.
The CEO of Marble Capital stressed the fact that "The FGN Sukuk Bond has been used to fund major roads in the country and Osun state Sovereign Sukuk was used to build 23 schools. Sukuk and Islamic Finance ensure that the investment an individual makes is secured. These makes the risk of the diversion of resources limited. All these advantages will make investors confident of participating in Non-Interest finance market".
Speaking on reducing exposure Of Nigerians to Ponzi Schemes through Financial Literacy, he said the Committee has disseminated information to stakeholders in the market to always investigate thoroughly.
On how the National Universities Commission (NUC), Nigerian Educational Research & Development Council (NERDC) and Islamic finance institutions can partner to woo young Nigerians to the Non-Interest finance market; Oyewale explained that the NUC and NERDC are working together in adopting a curriculum.
Also, he noted that the Islamic finance institutions are working closely to improve the series of communication on Islamic finance, that can be shared across websites of universities.
He said as people get to know the values and benefits of Islamic finance be it raising money or investing money particularly with the added value of investing in a way that aligns with someone convictions, the market will be deepened, and more people will participate in it.
"The challenge is continuous awareness. I am optimistic that Islamic finance will experience remarkable growth in Nigeria, West Africa and across the entire continent" he said.
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