Nigeria to Emulate Senegal's Sukuk Success

Chief Executive of Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Khaled Al-Aboodi, says Nigeria and Ivory Coast are looking to emulate Senegal's successful move into the market for sukuk. Senegal, meanwhile, is discussing another sukuk after the ICD helped it arranged its debut $208 million Islamic bond last June. Nigeria's neighbour Niger has signed up for a sukuk programme worth 150 billion CFA francs ($260 million), although the timing has yet to be determined. Al-Aboodi said they hoped to issue the sukuk before the end of the year, adding that the tenor depended on its structure and investor appetite.

FG Inaugurates Council for Islamic Insurance System in Nigeria

The Federal Government of Nigeria has inaugurated an advisory council for the implementation of the Takaful insurance product in the country. he Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, who inaugurated the council in Abuja, stated that the move was part of the implementation of some of the reforms in the insurance sector. The minister said the inauguration was the result of the National Insurance Commission’s resolve to key into the National Financial Inclusion Strategy introduced by the Federal Government in 2012. The Chairman of the advisory body, Prof. Dawud Noibi, said the council would do all within its power to effectively discharge its mandate.

CBN New Policy On Islamic Banking

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finalised plans to opt for a centralised approach to regulate Islamic Banking in Nigeria. The CBN will set up an advisory body,known as the Financial Regulation Advisory Council of Experts, that will oversee the industry in Nigeria. The council will be tasked with ensuring all banking products that are designated as Islamic conform to sharia principles. The advisory body will comprise a minimum of five members who will serve renewable two-year terms, and are restricted from working for any other financial institution supervised by the central bank. Moreover, the Council will be guided by the principles of sharia governance issued by the Malaysia-based Islamic Financial Services Board.

Jaiz Bank eyeing national, global market capture – Nurul Islam

Muhammad Nurul Islam, managing director/chief executive officer of Jaiz Bank, explained that wholesale transparency in the bank’s regular operations at all levels has enabled it to move away from huge losses to break-even point in record time. However, there are also challenges for the bank, such as the need for a liquidity management instrument that is non-interest banking compliant to manage our excess liquidity. Islam also said that by 2016 end, the bank will have improved capital to enable it go outside the shores of Nigeria. So in the next five years, Jaiz Bank will go International and expand its business base.

Jaiz Bank Set to Expand to Kwara, Lagos

The Representative of the Jaiz Bank in Nigeria, Dr. Mizanur Rahman, has disclosed the plan of the bank to extend its services to Kwara and Lagos states. He lamented that due to limited scope within the country, the bank lost about N1 billion but reiterated its hope that it would do well in 2015. Rahman made the statement at the jointly organised thematic workshop on Development of Islamic Banking in Africa at the Alhikmah University in Ilorin. The workshop was jointly organised by the Research and Training Institute (IRTI) in Saudi Arabia, the University of Ilorin and Al-Hikmah University.

Islamic banking workshop in Nigeria

The Islamic Research and Training Institute of the Islamic Development Bank Group and the African Development Bank are to jointly organize a workshop on the development of Islamic Banking in Africa to be held in Nigeria on January 6 - 8 2015. It is organized with the Al-Hikmah University as well as the Department of Islamic Law, University of Ilorin. The workshop will expect Experts in Islamic banking, regulation, and financial economics and take stock of current academic research, policies, practice and development of Islamic banking in Africa as well as current issues in Islamic banking and financial products, academics, regulators and practitioners of Islamic banking and finance from different African countries and from those who show considerable familiarity with the development of Islamic banking in Africa.

2014 – a challenging year with opportunities for the insurance sector

Nigeria’s insurance industry showed significant signs of positive gains in 2014. The sector’s contribution to the GDP was still at 0.4 percent even though it could achieve no less than 10 percent annually if well developed. The low level has been largely due to low awareness, poor purchasing power of Nigerians, poor market drive and unexciting products from insurers as well as lack of government patronage of insurance. At the National Insurance Summit held in Abuja, in December 2014 the government announced that it has set a target of N1 trillion in the next three years, and N5 trillion gross written premiums for the insurance sector within the next 10 years.

Jaiz unveils non-interest products at Kano Fair

Jaiz Bank Plc has introduced some specific small and medium enterprise (SME) products to empower small-scale businesses and teeming customers in the grassroots. Unveiling its corporate products and services at the on-going 35th Kano International Trade Fair at the weekend, Jaiz Branch Manager, Mallam Mansur Imam pointed out that besides its conventional products like savings account (Mudaraba), lease and acquisition finance (Ijara-Wa-Iqtina) and corporate and trade financing (Murabaha), the SME was uniquely conceived to finance market driven products and encourage growth of local enterprise.

Propagating Islamic housing model

Muslims in Nigeria have canvassed a good government policy that would promote affordable housing for the citizenry.ome group of Muslim businessmen and other professionals who gathered at the 2014 National Conference organised by The Companion, in Ibadan recently, advised Muslim organizations to join hands in tackling their peculiar challenges and assist members to secure affordable shelters. The gathering resolved that Nigeria’s massive housing deficit may further degenerate until governments and real estate private developers turn their focus to mass housing as a sector priority rather than the present proliferation of luxury estates.

Nigeria Islamic finance hub dream fading on knowledge gap

Nigeria’s aim to be a hub for Islamic finance is failing to materialise as a shortage of skilled and knowledgeable operators and lack of products combine to slow the sector’s take-off. There are very few professionals, such as lawyers and accountants who are conversant with Islamic Finance. Moreover, liquidity management in the country's industry is also a big problem, due to a lack of products. In 2013, the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) established a Non-Interest Capital Market 10-year Masterplan Committee, to develop strategies to foster the Sharia compliant sector. Although there has been some progress, activities in the sector are way below potential.

Growth of Islamic finance and critical role of lawyers (2)

No doubt, the CBN guidelines on non-interest finance have been long awaited due to the fast growing scale and demand for Islamic banking globally. However, there is a need for a more codified regulatory framework and guidelines by the Securities and Exchange Commission aimed at promoting future sukuk issuance and protecting investors’ interest. The regulatory framework should also provide for increased but regulated licensing requirements for Islamic fund managers, provisions for corporate governance, enhanced operational standards, enterprise-wide risk management, accounting, audit and disclosure requirements, advisory council of experts requirement, rendition of periodical regulatory return on Shariah compliance and prudential guidelines relating to fund reserve, liquidity ratio and provision for asset losses.

Jaiz Bank Commences Financing In Aviation Sector

Nigeria's Jaiz Bank Plc has financed an executive aircraft as part of its programmes to venture into the aviation sub sector. The aircraft, which has been delivered to the customer, Aviation Resource Service Limited, was financed under the bank’s Ijarah wa iqtina. Under this model, the bank and the Aviation Resource Service Limited are co-owners of the aircraft based on a partnership arrangement whereby ownership is gradually transferred to the customer as it pays down. The general manager of Aviation Resource Service Limited, Tanko Yakubu, said that the company was a little bit skeptical at the initial stage of their discussion with Jaiz Bank but were proven wrong.

Banks and Sustainability Principles Reporting

As part of efforts to ensure that the ecosystem was preserved, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) about two years ago rolled out guidelines on the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBP). The central bank had directed that sustainability reporting would commence in June 2014 with the submission of the one-off report (first quarter) not later than July 7, 2014. The CBN also instrcted that the second quarter one-off report should be submitted to it, not later than October 7, 2014, while the third quarter report should reach the CBN not later than January 7, 2015. Nonetheless, there are indications that some banks are having challenge complying with the reporting template because they are required to implement a sustainable banking principles and the respective management approach.

Sukuk - Tool for Infrastructural Development in Nigeria

Considering the huge infrastructural deficit that faces Nigeria, and the challenges being faced by the Federal Government of Nigeria due to a decline in oil revenue, it has become imperative for State Governments and corporates to access alternative financing techniques to meet their capital development needs. The potentials for using sukuk as a tool for capital raising and infrastructural development in Nigeria are examined and discusses the recent sukuk issuance by the Osun State of Nigeria under the State’s N60 Billion Debt Issuance Programme.

Jaiz grows branches to 14

Jaiz Bank Plc has increased its branch network to fourteen with the opening of the Kano Kabuga branch within Bayero University. A statement from the Head, Corporate Communications of Jaiz Bank, Idris Salihu said more branches would come on board before the end of the year. Salihu also stated that the bank has raised its capital base from the initial N5 billion it started with in 2012 to over N11 billion and is currently working on increasing it by way of right issue. The Bank commenced operations with three branches in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano states in January, 2012 and soon added branches in Gombe, Maiduguri, Katsina and Gusau (Zamfara state), Bauchi. It has three branches in Abuja and four in Kano with the addition of Kabuga branch.

Osun’s Sukuk Bond: Why Aregbesola qualifies to be termed ‘a Genius’ in financial management

The Governor of Osun State in Nigeria, Rauf Aregbesola, introduced Sukuk Bond to fasttrack the state’s economic development. According to the issuing houses, Governor Aregbesola’s sukuk initiative was said to be the first Islamic bond in sub-Saharan Africa. Though the governor knows that Sukuk is Islamic in nomenclature, the Sukuk bond is a conventional bond and coordinated by the regular investors in the nation’s capital and money market. The N14. 4 billion sukuk (14. 75 percent) fixed return tranche 2 has 42 investors with Lotus Capital Limited as the leading issuing house and Augusto and co as the rating agent. The bond, which is being used to finance roads and school constructions across the state, is due in 2020.

Lotus Halal traded fund, expanding frontiers of capital market

Nigeria-based Lotus Capital Limited recently launched the first sharia compliant exchange traded fund in sub-Saharan Africa – the Lotus Halal Equity Exchange Traded Fund (“LHE ETF”), with a target of raising about N1.5 billion during the initial offer period. The offer opened August 15, 2014, and closes September 11, 2014. Subscription is at an indicative unit price approximately equal to 1/200th of the value of the NSE-Lotus Islamic Index (“NSE LII”) on the day preceding the subscription. The LHE ETF would be listed and traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and will contribute to overall market capitalisation and the global exchange traded fund universe.

Investors fail to tap from bourgeoning ETF markets

The Nigerian Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) market has shown potential for growth, though many investors are yet to recognise its promise. In the less than four years since the market recorded its first entrants into the ETF space, there are three Exchange Traded products valued at N3.209 billion or 0.0178 percent of the total market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as at August 6, 2014. Comparison of statutory charges (sell side) on equities against ETFs shows a difference of 0.5964 percent in favour of ETFs; while on the buy side, the charges are the same. On the sell side, charges to equities are 0.7050 percent, while ETFs are 0.1086 percent; on the buy side, the charges are same at 0.3750 percent.

Takaful Investment Considerations

A Takaful insurance operator is to strategically consider the maturity matching approach as an investment mechanism in dealing with liquidity issues of the business at hand. Moreover, the issue of distribution of surplus in Takaful comes only after fulfilling or meeting the Shariah obligation of helping participants who have become victims of various risk crystallization. The Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) brought out a valid suggestions on adopting the principle of Iltizam bil Tabarru (pledge or commitment to donate). This gives the participants the ownership rights over the scheme while still having the firm commitment of mutual assistance (Ta’awuni) on the premise that a balance, if any, will be returned by the fund manager for distribution between the donating participants or owners of the fund in proportion to their initial contribution.

From central banker to Islamic king

Lamido Sanusi was crowned Muhammadu Sanusi II, the 14th Emir of Kano in June, taking over from Ado Abdullahi Bayero after his death. A grandson of the 11th Emir of Kano and prince in the royal family, Sanusi was Central Bank governor from 2009 to 2013, when President Goodluck Jonathan suspended him after he exposed massive corruption at the state oil firm. His first months have shown the major challenges he faces: a string of suicide bombings, carried out by women, forced him to cancel the traditional end of Ramadan celebrations called the Durbar. The Islamist Boko Haram insurgency is increasingly targeting Kano. Sanusi also faces possible civil unrest in Kano if Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian southerner seen by many northerners as divisive, wins another term in 2015 elections.

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