The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that more Shariah-compliant banks are coming due to the benefits the sector has brought to the nation’s economy and citizens.

This was revealed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, at a reception in honour of the newly appointed Secretary-General, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Arbitration Centre (OIC-AC), Dr Umar Oseni, organised by his (Oseni) mentees led by Hajia Rahmah Aderinoye.

Cardoso, who was represented at the event by the Director of Legal Services, CBN, Kofo Salam-Alada, said those who thought that the idea of introducing Shariah-compliant banks was to Islamise Nigeria or bring Islamic financing into the country’s economy have seen and realised the benefits.

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He, however, added those who are optimistic and pragmatic and who have foresight believed in the journey while adding that the idea (Islamic Banking) was spearheaded by a pastor.


“Some years back, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) started a journey for the introduction of the Islamic Banking and Financing in Nigeria. It came when a young man was appointed Governor of CBN. But most people never knew that the first person who spearheaded the journey was to be a pastor of a church.

“He was also a part-time pastor when this journey started. So, it was never an attempt to Islamise Nigeria or Islamise financing in Nigeria. When the Prince (Emir Sanusi) came, he continued the journey. And that journey saw some of us, one of you, who is standing before you today started the transaction documents that started the relationship with one institution that Dr Umar Oseni headed for about eight years,” Salam-Alada said.

Salam-Alada added that the banks have already reached out to not just to states but everyone who is into business in Nigeria who must have done something with them in one way or the other.

“I am not advertising, but I can say we are proud of Jaiz, Taj, and Alternate Bank and I believe many more would come. We are happy to drive on roads financed by Sukuk in Nigeria and more billions will still come. So many products are on the card and the Central Bank of Nigeria will not rest until financing gets to the grassroots,” the CBN director added.

Oseni, in his remarks, said that OIC-AC’s focus basically is on investment, commercial and resolving financial disputes.

“OIC actually has 57 member countries globally. As you all know, it is the largest body after the United Nations and actually has a lot of trade among the member countries. So you need to have a platform to resolve the disputes.

“And we will continue with this advocacy globally to ensure that, investors that Nigeria also keys into this project of OIC by actually allowing to have this clause as part of the investment treaties, investment agreements they entered into,” Oseni told Tribune Online.

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