November 05, 2019 / 07.15 AM / Bukola Akinyele for Proshare WebTV / Header Image
The Emir of Kano HRH Muhammad Sanusi, II, CON has called for robust regulatory and legal framework to deepen non-interest finance in Nigeria.
This, according to him, was an essential condition to the sustainable growth of alternative financing models in the country.
He made this assertion as keynote speaker at the 4th African International Conference on Islamic Conference, hosted in Lagos, the nation's economic capital.
Sanusi who was speaking to the theme of the conference "Infrastructure Financing, Sustainability and the Future of African Markets" said Islamic Finance had grown from niche to mainstream form of financing globally.
According to him "The global size of Islamic Finance as at 2018 was $2.19trn and Nigeria is among the pioneer economies in the globe to embrace it".
The Emir giving further insight into the adoption of Islamic Finance said it has gained acceptance in Europe & Asia.
As Africa faces a $360bn infrastructure gap, Sanusi was of the view that Islamic Finance offered an opportunity for addressing the deficit.
Sanusi noted that it was under his tenure as Central Bank of Nigeria Governor in 2012, that the Joint Committee was inaugurated to develop a framework for Non-Interest Financing in the country.
Since the blueprint for Islamic Finance was rolled out in the country, in 2013 the former CBN Governor stated that it took 4 years for the issuance of first set of Sukuk bonds in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
He listed the benefits of Islamic Finance to include enhancing infrastructural development, deepening financial inclusion and providing investments in social projects like green-based projects.
Speaking further on the Sukuk, Sanusi described it as a veritable source of alternative financing for critical projects that cover infrastructure and other critical socio-economic areas in the nation.
He lauded the Nigerian regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Central Bank of Nigeria,CBN, National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, and National Pension Commission, PENCOM, for the support they have rendered to the growth of Islamic Finance and it's instruments.
On the misconceptions around Islamic Finance, he informed the delegates that it was more of Ethical Finance focused on specific projects, that are ring-fenced and tied to projects that are verifiable.
He commended the organizers of the conference and believed that it served as a platform for creating awareness on Islamic Finance as a vehicle for driving Alternative Financing in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.