Jaiz Bank to Open more Branches, Increase Financial Inclusion Services in 2022


Friday, November 19, 2021 / 11:00 AM / By Bukola Akinyele-Yisau for WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV

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Jaiz Bank will, in 2022, open more branches, expand financial inclusion services, and increase investments in technology. The Executive Director, Business Development, North, Jaiz Bank, Dr. Sirajo Salisu, made this point in a recent discussion on improving non-interest banking services in Nigeria.

Salisu said the Jaiz financial inclusion services would focus on transforming people's lives, especially the unbanked in the country.

Jaiz bank, according to him, started operations in 2012 as a regional bank with three branches in Abuja, Kaduna, and Kano. In 2016 it got a national license to operate countrywide, moving into the south with branches in Lagos, Ilorin, Ibadan, and Port Harcourt. 

According to Salisu, the product of non-interest banks is almost the same as conventional banks with products such as current accounts, savings accounts, and fixed-term deposits. He said Islamic banks do not give loans but provide transaction-based financing, a profit-sharing transaction on an agreed ratio.

Speaking on the growth of non-interest finance in Nigeria and areas of improvement, Dr. Salisu explained that continuous awareness and education are vital for understanding Islamic banking. He said Jaiz bank is reaching out to people that are non-muslims because most of them equate Islamic banking with Islamization. 

He noted that most of the staff and customers of Jaiz Bank are non-muslims. The testimonial for the 10th anniversary in 2022 will also be from a non-muslim on how the bank services work.

Speaking on the country's digital currency, the e-Naira, and how Jaiz bank would tap into the opportunities to deepen its services and extend financial inclusion in Nigeria, he said adopting the e-Naira would require some managerial and technological investment. 

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He said the e-Naira is an innovation that would reduce the cost of transactions and make them seamless. He said non-interest banks should tap into it to improve digital financial services.

Speaking on the challenges facing the Islamic banking service, the Executive Director highlighted the issues of employing people with the right skills, the need for capacity building, and an improved regulatory environment.

He acknowledged that critical regulators in the financial market like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the National Pension Commission (NPC), and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) are adopting non-interest windows to deepen the market.

The bank executive added that people see Islamic banking as a viable alternative to conventional financial transactions. Salisu noted that standard banks were also tapping into the non-interest finance window, which has led to the development of Islamic insurance and Islamic capital ventures.

Assessing the non-interest finance market in 2021, he said the industry had continued to grow as new Islamic banks are emerging with increased activities in the market. According to him, Jaiz bank started paying the dividend last year in 2020, and Islamic banks' performance shows there are enormous potentials for the growth of the industry in Nigeria. He said issues like insecurity would not adversely affect Islamic banks compared to the convention because the transaction relies on a partnership deal.

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