Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited in collaboration with REDMoney Group hosted the 3rd edition of the Islamic Finance News (IFN) Nigeria Roadshow 2021 on Wednesday, 26 May 2021. Themed, Systemic Restart: Islamic Finance in Nigeria, the forum served to promote the growth and development of the Islamic Finance Industry within the Nigerian economy and facilitate the growth of a new asset class in the industry.

Chief Executive Officer, NGX, Mr. Temi Popoola, CFA who served as Keynote Speaker at the event stated, “According to the Islamic Finance Development Report 2020, the Islamic finance industry’s assets grew by 14% in 2019 to USD2.88 trillion, returning to its long-term pattern of strong growth after the slowdown in 2018. In Nigeria, the Islamic finance sector continues to grow with increased interests from market participants and a growing number of players including two Islamic banks, four takaful insurance companies and several microfinance banks and managed funds. Following the issuance of the first Sukuk in Sub-Saharan African – the Osun State N11.4Bn 7-year Ijarah Sukuk in 2013, the increasing demand for ethical investments in Nigeria has further led to 3 successful Sukuk issuances totalling N362.6bn by the Debt Management Office on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria from 2018 till date; all of which were largely oversubscribed and have been listed on NGX.”

He further expressed NGX’s commitment to building this asset class, saying, “NGX will continue to provide an efficient and liquid market for investors and businesses in Africa, to save and access Shariah-compliant capital and investments. Our collaboration with RedMoney in convening the annual IFN Nigeria forum attests to our belief in the potential and importance of Islamic finance in catalyzing inclusive economic recovery and a more sustainable global economic growth. We will collaborate with all market stakeholders to contribute towards the growth of Islamic finance in Nigeria and Africa at large.”

Also featured in the event was a Keynote Interview with Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO) Nigeria, Ms. Patience Oniha who expressed, “The sukuk initiative by DMO Nigeria has been increasingly successful given the strong level of awareness that has been created. This success can also be attributed to the increased confidence from market participants given that the Sukuk bonds are tied to specific projects that can be tracked. Looking ahead, we recognize the need to upscale issuances to include other standalone projects beyond road infrastructure, but more importantly, we are looking to support projects that are revenue generating to service the Sukuk. Furthermore, there must be a focus on growing and diversifying the investor base for the Sukuk as well as other investment products.”

The forum convened leading industry experts, regulators, and thought leaders from the domestic and international markets including: Peter Mushangwe, AVP – Analyst, Financial Institutions Group, Moody’s Investors Service; Norfadelizan Abdul Rahman, Managing Director, Taj Bank; Elhadji Ibrahima Thiaw, Country Manager, Senegal, The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit; Eguarekhide Longe, Managing Director, AIICO Pension Managers Limited; and Rizwan Kanji, Partner, Akin Gump.