Financial Sector Will Witness More Islamic Banking, Says CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has made a significant announcement: the financial sector is poised to experience further growth in Islamic banking. This revelation comes as the CBN Governor, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso, addressed an audience in Abuja during a reception honoring Dr. Umar Oseni, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Arbitration Centre (OIC-AC). Let’s explore the implications of this development.

The idea of introducing Islamic banking and financing in Nigeria began several years ago. Contrary to misconceptions, this initiative was not an attempt to “Islamize” the country or its financial sector. Interestingly, the first person who championed this journey was a pastor. The subsequent continuation of this effort by Emir Sanusi further solidified the path toward Islamic banking.

The Impact of Islamic Banks

Islamic banks have reached out to various stakeholders, including states and businesses across Nigeria. Institutions like Jaiz, Tajj, and Alternate Bank have made significant contributions. Roads financed by Sukuk (Islamic bonds) have become a reality, and the CBN remains committed to extending financing opportunities to grassroots levels.

OIC Arbitration and Global Advocacy

Dr. Umar Oseni emphasized the importance of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Arbitration Centre. With 57 member countries globally, the OIC is the second-largest international organization after the United Nations. Advocacy efforts continue to ensure that Nigeria embraces OIC’s investment treaties and agreements, fostering economic growth and dispute resolution.

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