The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), in partnership with REDmoney Group, organised the inaugural edition of the Islamic Finance in Nigeria – IFN Nigeria Forum, themed, “Harnessing the Islamic Finance Sector for Infrastructure Development and Economic Growth”, on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos.
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.
In his opening remarks at the forum, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON, Chief Executive Officer, NSE, ably represented by Mr. Jude Chiemeka, Divisional Head, Trading Business, NSE, applauded the Federal Government, the Debt Management Office, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Pension Commission for showing unwavering commitment to the deepening and growth of Islamic Finance in Nigeria.
Mr 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 sector. In 2016, for example, we developed and published 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.
“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,” he said.
Some of the speakers at the event include Ms Mary Uduk, Acting Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), represented by Abdulkadir Abbas; Ms Patience Oniha, Director-General, Debt Management Office of Nigeria; Hajia Aisha Dahir-Umar, Acting Director-General, National Pension Commission (Pencom), represented by Dr Umaru Farouk Aminu, Head, Research & Strategy Management Department, Pencom; Mr Jude Chiemeka, Divisional Head, Trading Business, NSE; Hajara Adeola, Managing Director/CEO, Lotus Capital; Adeola Sunmola, Partner, Udo Udoma & Belo Osagie and Oluseun Olatidoye, Head, Debt Capital Markets, FBNQuest Merchant Bank.