DIRECTOR-GENERAL of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, has said that the Islamic Financial System aligns and compatible with initiatives and principles of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), hence the spate of its global acceptance.
According to him, financial inclusion, financial stability, and infrastructure development are key contributions to the Islamic Financial System to Sustainable Development Goals, while he added that there is a natural link between Islamic Finance SDGs in that it provides a viable alternative to source finance and that it is a scalable funding source.
Gwarzo said this in a keynote address delivered on his behalf at the opening ceremony of a two-day 3rd African Conference on Islamic Finance 2017, held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja on Monday.
The Director-General said the emergence of Islamic Finance is a practical alternative for capital raising and that global financial centers has amended their laws to accommodate for Islamic financial instruments and products, so Nigeria and other West African countries are largely participating in Islamic financial system and its products.
He said internationally, the Islamic Financial System Board serve as an international standard-setting body of regulatory and supervisory agencies.
The Security and Exchange Commission, he stated, has developed the Non-Interest Capital Market (NICM) Plan in recognition of the fact that proceeds of a non-interest capital market are a veritable source of funding capital and infrastructural projects.
The NICM Plan, he added, was meant to; build a strong regulatory foundation for a non-interest capital market, encourage the development of the market stakeholders and o create a regional hub for a non-interest capital market.
The Chief Executive Officer of Metropolitan Skills Limited, organizers of the conference, Mrs. Ummahani Amin Ahmad said the formidable growth of Islamic Finance has recently been bolstered by the global move towards ethical, socially responsible, sustainable and impactful solutions.
According to her, recent reports indicate that 1 in 5 dollars is invested ethically and more than 60% of total investment in Europe is based on some form of ethical investment, adding that Islamic finance tenets have been lauded for their ethical premise.
She said it is veritable that public perception of ethical finance often differs from the measurable impact on financial inclusion and living standards.
According to her, the 3rd African International Conference on Islamic Finance convened leading professionals, research scholars and subject matter experts to exchange and share their experiences and results on all aspects of Islamic Finance.
The experts, she said, were drawn to consider the divergence of perception from real impact and consider the role of awareness in bridging this gap because this developing sector that has the potential to create a significant impact on lives of the millions living in the West African region.
The chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Umar Murtallab said the Islamic financial banking services is getting stronger globally acceptance and that Nigerian financial environment is embracing Islamic financial instruments such as Sukuk and Halal.
He said this was evident in the over-subscription of the Sukuk financial investment and its implementation by the Federal Government and the Osun State government.
The Non-Interest Capital Market (NICM), he said is sharia-compliant as well as aligning with the ethical financial system.
The chairman of Jaiz Bank call on the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other financial regulatory agencies in the country to set up a veritable platform for the implementation of the halal instrument because of its importance to a foreign export trading of goods and commodities.
He said Halal Certification is now a requirement on goods to be exported to countries in the Middle East and Asia, stressing that the Certification has also become a requisite for importing goods into a few Western nations.
The Special Guest of Honour, His Eminence, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, Sultan of Sokoto also hoped that regulatory agencies will create more awareness for Islamic financial instruments, so that many Nigerians will embrace it and for it to increase financial inclusiveness.
Speaking through the Emir of Argungu, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Samaila Muhammed, the Sultan commended the mileage achieved by Osun State government in investing in non-interest Islamic financial products, to finance infrastructural projects in the state.
Panelists who are experts in the financial circle who were invited to discuss topics earmarked for the two days events include; Mallam Hassan Usman, Managing Director of Jaiz Bank Plc, Dr. Chidi Izuwa, Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Mr. Umar Ibrahim, Managing Director, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Mustapha Bintube, Chairman, Buraq Capital, Dr. Abdulrazaq Alaro and Abba Bello, Managing Director, NEXIM Bank.
Metropolitan Skills Limited is accompany established to deliver a world class result-oriented and capacity building corporate and consultancy services to clients of different backgrounds.