SEC to establish Sharia Advisory Council for non-interest banking

Posted by News Express | 7 October 2015 | 2,597 times

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it will set up a Sharia Advisory Council on non-interest product applications.

The Director-General, SEC, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, said this on Tuesday in Abuja during an interactive session with the UK Trade and Investment on Non-Interest Finance.

Represented by Mr. Zakawanu Garuba, Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services, SEC, the director general said the council would be made up of experts to give advice on the products.

He said that the commission would also engage the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to obtain liquidity status for the non-interest products.

Gwarzo also said that the SEC aimed at boosting non-interest capital market.

“To boost liquidity of non-interest products, we are working with a committee to support the FMDQ platform to enable secondary market trading of the products.

“Our goal is to boost non-interest capital market product innovation so that the segment can be at least a quarter (25%) of the overall market capitalisation.

“We intend to build a strong regulatory regime for non-interest products, encourage stakeholders in the non-interest capital market.

“And ensure the emergence of Nigeria as a prominent non-interest capital market hub both at the regional level and globally.”

The director general also said that though the market was a great opportunity for Nigeria, the major challenge it faced was lack of capacity.

He, however, expressed optimism that the meeting would end with workable solutions.

“We would be delighted to leverage London’s wealth of capacity and experience in this regard.

“We would be most delighted to get any form of assistance in building a vibrant non-interest capital market in Nigeria that will help push national aspirations for inclusive socioeconomic development.”

The Lord Mayor of London, Rt. Hon Alderman Yarrow, said the Nigerian Stock Exchange was the second largest exchange in sub-Saharan Africa and the gateway to African markets.

He said that based on the premise, the whole of Africa, to some extent, relied on Nigeria.

The Lord Mayor said already there was a thriving partnership between the London and Nigerian exchanges and an excellent pipeline of Nigerian businesses listing in London.

He said there were six Islamic banks in Britain, while another 20 lenders currently offered Islamic financial products and services, stating that Islamic finance was one of the UK’s strengths.

“We want our Nigerian friends and partners to see London as Nigeria's international companion whatever type of expertise is required.

“As the Lord Mayor of the City of London, I am an ambassador for the UK's financial and professional services.

“And I can say with absolute certainty that the City of London and the London Stock Exchange stand ready to help in any way we can.”

He said that Britain became the first country outside the Muslim world to issue an Islamic bond or ‘simul’ in 2014.

Yarrow also said that with 88 million Muslims in Nigeria, there was a huge opportunity to offer Islamic finance as an alternative investment and finance model for both Muslims and non Muslims alike. (NAN)

•Photo shows SEC DG, Mounir Gwarzo


Source: News Express

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