Friday, March 26, 2021 / 1:00PM / Bukola Akinyele-Yisau for WebTV / Header Image Credit: EcoGraphics
Nigeria needs a pragmatic approach to supporting qualitative Islamic finance education to deepen the industry and its impact on the financial market and the economy. Mr Isiaka Halidu, an MSc student of Islamic Banking & Finance at the International Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance Bayero University Kano said this in a recent discussion on the prospects of Islamic finance in Nigeria.
Speaking on wider Islamic finance knowledge, Halidu explained that Islamic finance was gaining broader interest in Nigeria as there are two full-fledged Islamic banks, a Takaful or Islamic insurance firm, and three Sukuk Issues which were all over-subscribed. According to Halidu, this shows that there are a large investor and customer awareness of non-interest-based financial transactions and instruments.
He believed the industry could be better managed with skilled and well-equipped human resources. Mr. Halidu called for investments in qualitative Islamic finance education that will equip people with the requisite skills, to constantly innovate to meet and exceed the needs and expectation in increasing customers and investors.
He stressed that detailed and fit-for-purpose Islamic finance education was a critical step for the survival and sustainability of the Islamic finance industry in the country.
Producing Quality Human Resources in the Islamic Finance Industry
He identified the following as the key steps for producing quality human resources in the Islamic Finance Industry;
Halidu said that Islamic finance as a whole was practical and required practical explanations and processes and that this ould give students the requisite skills to meet up with industry expectations.
Job Opportunities for a Graduate in Islamic Banking
The fact that there are only two full-fledged Islamic banks in Nigeria has meant limited opportunities in banking but this could change with more banks setting up non-interest banking departments. He noted that job opportunities were appearing in other areas, which include;
Investment in Islamic Finance Education in Nigeria
In respect of investments in Islamic finance education, Halidu thought that there was a need for more investment in Islamic finance education as the current level of investment was relatively inadequate.
Halidu argued that Nigeria should benchmark countries like Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates to grow its market. According to him, the key learning point was that both countries had the full support of the government for Islamic finance, by establishing the infrastructure to enable its growth.
He also added that there has also been a robust regulatory framework for the industry, with the capital market repositioned to support Islamic finance through instruments to assist liquidity management.
Looking at the education system, he cited the example of the Central Bank of Malaysia's example that established the first global Islamic finance university (INCEIF)International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance.
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