Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, has stated that our country, as well as other African nations, need to make use of the opportunities provided by Islamic financing to fund infrastructure on the African continent.
Mr Sanusi delivered the speech at a conference dedicated to the development of infrastructure through Alternative Funding (Islamic finance) in Africa. The conference was organized by the Metropolitan Skills Limited, Abuja, in partnership with the Islamic Finance Institute of South Africa.
Sanusi, represented by his Special Adviser on Non-Interest Banking, Dr. Bashir Aliyu Umar, said Islamic bonds -- Sukuk -- if well developed, can serve as a "financing option for governments." This, Mr Sanusi noted, has already been evidenced in countries like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and others.
"It is my belief that if properly structured, Islamic bond will compliment government's efforts in infrastructure development," Sanusi said.
The former Managing Director of Jaiz Bank, Mustapha Bintube, also present at the event, said "Islamic banking has come to stay in Nigeria": "In Nigeria, many people told me it was not possible but today, with a modest beginning, it is going to stay and it is going to make impact in the economy of this country."
In addition, the acting Managing Director of Jaiz Bank, Usman Hassan, urged the federal government to conclude the development of the framework for the issuance of Sukuk in the country. This is, according to the bank's representatives, necessary because with Sukuk the projects will not be failed and diverted.