By Chinwendu Obienyi
The Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) has reiterated that it is committed to providing an efficient and liquid market for investors and businesses in Africa, to save and access Shariah-compliant capital and investments.
Its Chief Executive Officer, Teni Popoola, made this known during the 3rd edition of the Islamic Finance News (IFN) Nigeria Roadshow 2021 in Lagos recently.
The event themed Systemic Restart: Islamic Finance in Nigeria, served to promote the growth and development of the Islamic Finance Industry within the Nigerian economy and facilitate the growth of a new asset class in the industry.
In his address, Popoola noted that according to the Islamic Finance Development Report 2020, the Islamic finance industry’s assets grew by 14 per cent in 2019 to $2.88 trillion, returning to its long-term pattern of strong growth after the slowdown in 2018.
He explained that the Islamic finance sector continues to grow with increased interests from market participants and a growing number of players including two Islamic banks, four takaful insurance companies and several microfinance banks and managed funds.
“Following the issuance of the first Sukuk in Sub-Saharan African – the Osun State N11.4 billion 7-year Ijarah Sukuk in 2013, the increasing demand for ethical investments in Nigeria has further led to 3 successful Sukuk issuances totalling N362.6 billion by the Debt Management Office (DMO) on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria from 2018 till date; all of which were largely oversubscribed and have been listed on NGX.”, He said
He further expressed NGX’s commitment to building this asset class, saying the group will continue to provide an efficient and liquid market for investors and businesses in Africa, to save and access Shariah-compliant capital and investments.
“Our collaboration with RedMoney in convening the annual IFN Nigeria forum attests to our belief in the potential and importance of Islamic finance in catalyzing inclusive economic recovery and a more sustainable global economic growth. We will collaborate with all market stakeholders to contribute towards the growth of Islamic finance in Nigeria and Africa at large”, he said.
Also featured in the event was a keynote interview with Director General, Debt Management Office (DMO) , Ms. Patience Oniha, who stated that the sukuk initiative by the debt office has been increasingly successful given the strong level of awareness that has been created.
She attributed the success to the increased confidence from market participants given that the Sukuk bonds are tied to specific projects that can be tracked.