The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has stated that the Islamic Banking System, which was introduced to Nigeria, is vital to the country's infrastructural development.
Sanusi, who was represented by his Personal Assistant on Islamic Banking, Dr. Bashir Aliyu Umar, stated this in Abuja during the international conference on Islamic Finance organised by The Metropolitan Skills Limited, Abuja, with endorsement by CBN and related agencies.
He said the Islamic Finance asset-backed and asset-based financing instruments to fund infrastructural needs would go a long way in promoting financial inclusion, enhancing the productive capacity of the nation and by extension, contribute to its economic development.
The CBN Governor also noted that the theme of the conference ‘Infrastructure Development through Alternative Funding(Islamic Finance) in Africa’, was appropriate and timely because of the current low level of infrastructural development experienced in most African countries as well as dwindling sources of finance especially in the aftermath of the global financial crises.
He also revealed that a good approach to funding of infrastructure in Africa is through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) explaining that the current administration in Nigeria has already embraced the method.
Sanusi said: “There is no gainsaying that the financial resource required to fund infrastructural development is huge, and government and the banking system might not be able to provide the needed funding alone; considering the gestation of the projects as well as the risk of crowding out the private sector.
“A very good approach to funding of infrastructure in Africa is through the PPP, which the current administration in Nigeria has already embraced. This provides a window under Islamic finance asset-backed and asset-based financing instruments to fund infrastructural needs, which will go a long way in promoting financial inclusion”, he added.
Also, MSC Coordinator Islamic Finance, Faculty of Islamic Studies, Qatar, Prof. Monzer Kahf, who was one of the guest speakers, described Islamic Finance as a depository institution of financial intermediary specialised in providing finance on sale, lease or sharing bases which is committed to the Islamic Shari'ah criteria of financial transactions especially realism, morality as well as prohibition of interest.
Kahf condemned the way the Islamic Banking is being misinterpreted in some quarters, adding that the bank does not put any restrictions on one’s faith or belief, but rather grants an equal opportunity that operates under the principles of fairness, realism and morality.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Skills Ltd, Ms Ummahani Ahmad Amin, said the subject of Islamic Finance has gained further prominence following the global financial crises and sovereign debt crises, which highlighted a range of fallacies. In the conventional financial systems and underscored the usefulness of Islamic principles for stability and sustainability.
“Islamic economics us becoming more relevant for socio-economic development of countries, regions and the world, which is facing high unemployment, unsustainable growth and above all ethical crises”, Amin added.
(This Day Live / 24 July 2013)
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