•As IIFP inducts 118 professional members
By Haroon Balogun
The Acting President, Institute of Islamic Finance Professional of Nigeria, Dr. Tajudeen Yusuf has charged Muslims to practice and patronize existing Islamic finance institutions to improve their economic well-being and the society at large.
Yusuf made this call during a stakeholders’ forum and induction of new members held in Lagos recently.
No fewer than 118 members including the Honourable Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef were inducted into the organization.
He said the goal of the institute was not only to create awareness but also to develop professional expertise in all spheres of Islamic non interest financial service industry. He urged Muslim to develop passion for Islamic finance, by engaging in research, capacity building, structuring Islamic product to solve problems in the society.
“Muslim must be smart because non-Muslims have developed a lot of result in researching of Islamic finance”.
On the theme – ‘Developments, prospects and inclusive growth’, Yusuf said: it was specially selected to provide guidance on the discussion generated by the successful introduction and launching of Islamic Sukuk in Nigeria by Federal Government of Nigeria and to provide deep knowledge for the handlers of the economy and general populace on Islamic finance.
“If you look at those who are championing and promoting Islamic finance in the world, they probably don’t have background in Islamic finance but later on diversify into Islamic Finance. They start by conducting research in Islamic finance, doing what we call financial engineering. One thing about Islamic finance is innovativeness; there is much flexibility in Islamic Finance. Without research efforts, you cannot benefit from the values that Islamic Finance will give.”
“We are commencing the journey to a N20million ‘Benevolent Fund’ to aid students in the studies of postgraduate degree in Islamic finance in Nigeria. Prof. Kola will lead the team of interested persons towards accomplishment of this noble task that will aid and fast track the production of postgraduate students that will conduct researches into the implementation or overcoming of various challenges and proffer facts with solutions on how to deepen Islamic finance not only in Nigeria but the whole Africa.”
The Chairman, Advisory Board, of the institute, Alhaji Umar Abdul Mutalib congratulated the president, members of the governing Council as well as other members of the board for their indefatigable strides since inception of the institute till date. He said, Nigerians should embrace fully the benefits of Islamic finance, irrespective of religious affiliations to finance infrastructure deficit and investment, adding “this is a sure answer to Nigeria’s economic problem.
Mutalib said, Nigeria is a relevant case study of an emerging agronomy that has joined other developed and developing economics using Islamic finance as a necessary tool for financial inclusion with regards to financing large infrastructure projects. “The advent of Jaiz Bank PLC, Jaiz Takaful Insurance Plc., An –Nour Takaful Insurance Plc. and the recent N100 billion Federal Government 7-year Sukuk Bond among others are few potentials of Islamic finance in Nigeria”.
He said the big challenge before us was the dearth of Islamic finance practitioners. So, the coming on board of all our inductees at this ceremony is apt and timely. “I therefore urge all the inductees to live above board and avail the Nigeria Islamic finance opportunities of your empathy, exposure and experience to take Islamic finance practice to greater heights”.
Member of IIFP Governing Council, Dr. Ganiyat Adeshina said there is need for Muslims to wake up from slumber, adding, “Islamic Finance is the only market that can provide ethical finance.”
Also, another member of the Governing Council, Imam Abdullahi Shuaib said Zakat is one of the tools that Muslims can be provided with funds, adding that conscious Muslim will not want to go into conventional interest-based loans.