Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Nigeria’s first Islamic Bank opens for business with 3 branches

- from EconomicConfidential -
Nigeria’s first licensed Islamic Bank, Jaiz Bank Plc has commenced full operation of non-interest commercial banking in Nigeria from three branches in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano.

A staffer of the bank in Abuja Office informed the Economic Confidential that most of the early customers are groups of business institutions and private individuals from different religion persuasions making enquiries as well as opening different accounts. The officer in Operation Department said the service of the bank is opened to everyone that is interested in the non-interest products.

The introduction of Islamic banking is part of a drive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to propel Nigeria’s economy and promote financial inclusion by introducing alternative products. The non-interest regime offers veritable incentives and attractive options for investors.

At its inaugural Annual General Meeting (AGM), Chairman of Jaiz bank, Alhaji Umar Mutallab said: “The whole idea of the banking option is to bring more people into banking in Nigeria that provides banking without interest.

Alhaji Mutallab who was former Chairman of First Bank further added that: “This kind of banking is for all religions because no religion wouldn’t want to help, especially funding critical project without using interest elements. Whether it is Christianity or Judaism, every community wants to borrow money without being bugged down with multi-layer interest structure.

“This banking option is a product with a difference. We hope our brothers from the divide will see it as an ethical bank which is not meant to promote particular religion. It is for all Nigerians and not Muslims alone.

“Once you have a viable project proposal which is ethical, which doesn’t cater for such things as liquor, gambling etc, it becomes a halal (lawful) project and would be looked into by the bank.”

Islamic banking also known as participant banking is banking activity that is consistent with the principles of Islamic law and its practical application through the development of Islamic economics. The system prohibits the fixed or floating payment or acceptance of specific interest or fees like usury for loans of money.
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