16 March 2018

Nigeria: Muslim Scholars Highlight Benefits of Islamic Financing to Economic Growth

Reputable Muslims scholars that gathered at the business luncheon of Forum For Islamic Education & Welfare have highlighted numerous opportunities offered by Islamic Financing system, in the quest to growing the national economy.

The President of MUSWEN, Alhaji Sakariyau Babalola, among several speakers at the forum said the world's leading economic thinkers and practitioners as well as business leaders have pointed to the Islamic financial system as the hope for humanity.

Speaking on the theme: 'Islamic Financial system a: A panacea for National Economic Development', Babalola said: "The growing sophistication of research and practice of the Islamic financial system across the world has left nobody in doubt about the confidence that Muslims have in Islam as a religion and complete way of life,"

He said that at the national level in Nigeria, the adoption of the Islamic financial system by both the public and private sectors is growing.

He added that MUSWEN leadership is also putting thoughts together towards establishing a business forum that will provide veritable platform for purposeful engagement among active Muslim in business and professional leaders in the region.

Member, Financial Regulation Advisory Council of Experts, Central Bank of Nigeria, and Dr. Bashir Umar said Islamic finance has been successfully institutionalised all over the world due to ethical qualities entrenched in it.

He noted that Islamic finance is fast growing and there are many opportunities for innovation in the industry for both academics and entrepreneurs.

He said that the introduction of Islamic Finance would positively impact the rate of financial inclusion. Empirical results based on studies of IMF FAS and Global Financial Inclusion Survey (FINDEX) and the World Bank Enterprises survey have shown a possible link between the presence and activity of Islamic banking, and financial inclusion than those that do not have those services.

"OIC countries with Islamic banking service have higher level of financial inclusion than those that do not have those services. Results shows that religious reasons are responsible for the exclusion of 11.6 percent in OIC countries compared to four per cent in the rest of the world. This suggests that self-exclusion due to religious considerations are some extent been mitigated by the introduction of Islamic financial service

He added that there are numerous opportunities for contributing into Islamic financial services.

"The Islamic finance has positively contributed to the overall economic and increase access to financial services in other regions of the world, new and innovative asset class of sukuk designed by Islamic financial services industry in financing infrastructure projects, integrated cooperative model that brings together micro-credit, micro-savings and micro-takaful which eradicate poverty and enhance economic empowerment leading to assets accumulation and self-reliance," he said.

He noted that financial inclusion is a key element to achieve inclusive development needed for sustainable growth in the country. " Many Muslims reject the formal services because of non compatibility of the services to the tenets of Islam, as a result of which they contribute to the overall rate of financial exclusion in the continent," Umar said.

He added that presence of Islamic banking in the country has brought the unserved and undeserved members of the society into the formal financial sector.

The Amir of the organisation, Alhaji Mobolaji Lawal, said the business luncheon seeks to exhibit the immense potentials and benefits of Islamic financial system, as a driving force, in national quest to rejuvenate the economy on the part of sustainable growth and development, thereby ushering in the desired peace, security and love among diverse ethnic and religious groups.

Lawal solicited support for compliment of an Islamic center at Lekki "We have committed N29.5 million for land acquisition and other preliminary expenses. The commencement of the project has suffered some delays as a result of an ongoing electronic surveying of the entire scheme by Lagos state government. As soon as the hurdle is cleared, we shall commence the site preparation".

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