Lagos — The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) said the Islamic finance sector presents numerous opportunities for enhancing the economic growth of Nigeria.
The CEO of NSE, Oscar Onyema, stated this at the IFN Nigeria Forum 2019 held in Lagos. NSE in partnership with REDmoney Group, organised this year's edition of the IFN Nigeria Forum, themed: "Harnessing the Islamic Finance Sector for Infrastructure Development and Economic Growth."
The IFN Nigeria Forum 2019 brought together decision-makers, regulators and investors, who exchange their views and experiences on opportunities in the Nigerian Islamic finance market. It featured a mix of panel sessions, onstage interviews and interactive sessions on a number of themes in Islamic finance including, Corporate Financing and Capital Raising in Nigeria; Funding Infrastructure and Social Welfare Requirements in West Africa and Islamic Finance, Investment, Banking and Takaful in Nigeria.
Onyema, represented by divisional head, Trading Business, NSE, Mr. Jude Chiemeka, applauded the federal government, the Debt Management Office (DMO), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the National Pension Commission (NPC) for showing unwavering commitment to the deepening and growth of Islamic finance in Nigeria.
Onyema stated that "The Islamic finance sector presents numerous opportunities for enhancing the economic fortunes of Nigeria and the Exchange will continue to work with market stakeholders to ensure the development of a robust Islamic finance sector."
He stated that "In 2016, for example, we developed and publicised our rules governing the listing of Sukuk and similar debt securities to provide regulatory guidance for issuers seeking to list their instruments on our platform.
"In line with the SEC's Non-Interest Capital Markets Product Master Plan, we have also identified five strategic pillars critical for the growth of the sector. These include a strong regulatory framework, capacity building, product development, robust primary and secondary markets, and market awareness programs such as these."
He added, "We have already started executing on these pillars and recently hosted a training exercise for the market. We will also continue to provide an efficient and liquid market for investors and businesses in Africa, to save and access capital.
"We promise to continue our collaboration with all market stakeholders, to collectively contribute towards the enhancement of this new asset class, and ultimately towards the growing Islamic finance in Nigeria and Africa at large."