The Nigerian Apex Bank (CBN), has resolved to opt for a more centralised approach to regulate Islamic Banking in Nigeria.
According to the CBN, an advisory body known as the Financial Regulation Advisory Council of Experts will be initiated. It will oversee the industry in Nigeria.
The council will be tasked with ensuring all banking products that are designated as Islamic conform to sharia principles.
Ventures Africa also in its last week publications, revealed the minimum requirements for the advisory body, which will comprise a minimum of five members including one of the CBN official.
Members will serve renewable two-year terms, must be qualified in Islamic jurisprudence, and are restricted from working for any other financial institution supervised by the central bank.
The guideline also stipulates that the advisory body will be guided by the principles of sharia governance issued by the Malaysia-based Islamic Financial Services Board.
Financial institutions that offer Islamic banking products in Nigeria are already required to have their own boards of sharia finance experts, who are limited to serving in one institution at a time. However, the centralization is part of the effort to establish the country as the African hub for Islamic finance.
It would be noted that Nigeria has the largest Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa, virtually half of the country’s 170 million people.