Two Takaful insurance companies have commenced operations in the country, thus, becoming the first set of fully-fledged Takaful Insurance companies in Nigeria. The two companies are Jaiz Takaful Insurance Company, with head office in Abuja, and Noor Takaful Insurance Company based in Lagos State. Although there is still a misconception about Takaful Insurance that it is a scheme for the Muslims, the two operators believe that with increased awareness and education they will correct this misconception. The chairman of Noor Takaful Insurance, Ambassador Shuaibu Ahmed, said Takaful is about joint guarantee, whereby individuals jointly guarantee themselves against any loss or damage. The CEO of Jaiz Takaful Insurance, Momodu Musa Joof, said his company’s products are inspired by the need for customers to benefit from the contributions they pay as policyholders.
A Chartered Accountant and Tax Administrator, Mr. Bicci Alli has said that the federal government as well as states cannot shun Islamic financial instruments whose market is valued at over $2.6 trillion, because it has the capability to bridge the infrastructure deficit in the country.
The federal government is presently looking for financial and legal advisers and trustee firms to organise its first Islamic bond in the domestic market, the Debt Management Office (DMO) said on Monday. Nigeria is working on a debut sovereign sukuk but has yet to determine the size of a potential deal. Issuance of a sovereign sukuk is part of a plan by Nigeria’s debt office to develop alternative sources of funding and to establish a benchmark curve.
The federal government has asked for the scaling up of Islamic Development Bank’s (IDB’s) concessional resource and increased overall financing to Nigeria and other African member countries of the bank. Speaking at the inauguration of the IDB Country Gateway Office (CGO) in Abuja, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said there are immense opportunities in Nigeria. The minister pointed out that Nigeria requires far more resources to face the challenges and diversify its economy. She also urged the the IDB Group to help in the recently constituted Buhari Plan for the Revitalisation of the Northeast Region of Nigeria.
The State of Osun in southwestern Nigeria raised a sukuk bond worth ten billion naira ($62 mn) from the capital market to fund educational development. After the recent trend of Eurobond issuance by African countries, Osun’s offering was sowing the seeds for more African sukuk. Prior to Osun, only Gambia and Sudan had issued local-currency short-term domestic notes. Osun's Governor Rauf Aregbesola believes that the potential of Islamic finance can also attract investors from the Middle East. Osun State’s planned multi-billion naira sukuk fund for education represents Nigeria’s most ambitious attempt to promote Islamic finance.