The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Alan Yarrow has urged the country to consider all sources of finance as a means for attracting investment.
In particular the Mayor during a trip to Nigeria was keen to highlight the City of London as a leading centre for Islamic finance and stated Islamic finance can provide substantial investment for Nigeria. He added Islamic financing was currently marginally more expensive when compared to conventional finance but this difference was expected to reduce as volumes increase within the Islamic financial market. The Lord Mayor suggested the North of Nigeria would in particular benefit from Islamic financial products.
Yarrow who met with financial sector regulators and operators including the Securities and Exchange Commission, CBN, Jaiz Bank Lotus Capital among other, in Abuja last week, said London with six Islamic banks and another 20 lenders currently offering Islamic financial products and services had the capacity to help Nigeria to deepen its Islamic financial system.
He said, “We want our Nigerian friends and partners to see London as Nigeria’s international companion whatever type of expertise is required. From looking at Nigeria’s legal framework, to helping to up skill your young, dynamic and ambitious population, London has the expertise, the variety and the capacity to help. And most of all, we offer the willingness.
“Only a few months ago, UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer – which is really the name of our Finance Minister – stood beside me and the Governor of the Bank of England and he spoke about the importance of Islamic finance.