Nigerian Islamic Finance Market
Nigeria is gradually opening up to Islāmic finance, a move that could bring non-interest banking to over 80 million Muslims and develop one of Africa’s fastest-growing consumer and corporate banking sectors.
Nigeria, home to the largest Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa, is trying to establish itself as the African hub for Islāmic finance, which follows religious principles such as bans on interest and gambling.
In recent months, a string of regulatory initiatives have set the groundwork for products such as Islāmic bonds (sukuk), insurance (takaful) and interbank lending products, although there is still only a small number of local market participants.
“The potential is there but the market is negligible in Nigeria because we have only one Islāmic bank and one window-but it has potential to grow”, said Bashir Aliyu Umar, special adviser on non-interest banking to the central bank governor.
Islāmic banking is currently offered by the Islāmic window of Stanbic IBTC, a unit of South Africa’s Standard bank and Jaiz bank…
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