Jaiz Bank Plc has financed over 10,000 units of houses in the country since inception, partnering with different developers, the executive director, North, Dr Sirajo Salisu, has said.
Speaking at the 5th African international conference on Islamic Finance in Abuja, Dr Salisu said Islamic finance is touching the lives of people in practical ways, contrary to many perceptions.
With the theme: Infrastructure financing, Sustainability and the Future of African Markets. The conference aimed at building and enhancing private and public sector institutional capacity on Islamic Finance.
Dr Salisu said the bank has from inception financed large scale projects worth billions of naira for about 20 customers and has also financed others in areas of agriculture, MSMEs, oil and gas worth billions of Naira.
In the area of youth empowerment, he said the Jaiz bank has provided thousands of opportunities to young people in the transportation, telecommunications, and agriculture sectors.
He said Islamic finance is really touching lives, but a lot of people are unaware of that.
In financial inclusion, the Bank decided to go into the rural areas to touch the lives of many women and brought them into the financial sector, in addition to facilitating financial interventions by the federal government on empowerment and poverty eradication.
Non-executive director of the bank, Dr Abdullateef Bello who chaired a session – ‘The African Islamic Finance Experience; Lessons From Nigeria’, highlighted the need for constant engagement and awareness creation on Islamic Finance in order to grow the sector.
He commended the organisers of the event and called on all the stakeholders to continue the push as the opportunities in the market are yet to be tapped.
The 14th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II said at the opening ceremony that the idea of introducing Islamic Finance in Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria under his watch was purely based on the need to have an alternative source of funding for the economy.
He said the initial negative sentiments on the introduction of Islamic Finance were baseless as many non-Muslim countries in Europe and Asia have been benefiting from various financing options provided by Islamic Finance to grow their economies.