The Non-Interest Financial Institutions Association of Nigeria (NIFIAN), on Thursday in Abuja elected the Managing Director of Jaiz Bank Plc, Hassan Usman as its pioneer president.
Usman was inaugurated alongside other six executive members to steer the affairs of the umbrella body of all corporate organisations offering non-interest financial and related services in the country for a first term of two years.
Those elected included Hajara Adeola, Managing Director, Lotus Capital Limited as Vice-President; Norfadelizan Abdulrahman, Managing Director, TAJBank Limited as Treasurer; and Fatai Ola Bakare, an astute in-house legal counsel and Islamic Finance expert of SunTrust Bank Nigeria Limited as the Secretary-General.
Other members inaugurated yesterday included Thaibat Adeniran, Managing Director, Cornerstone Takaful Nigeria Limited; Aminu Tukur, Managing Director, Noor Takaful Limited and Dr. Basheer Oshodi, Chief Executive Officer, TrustBank Arthur Limited.
In his opening address, Babayo Saidu, Chairman of NIFIAN’s Board of Trustees said the association was registered on August 28, 2020, and duly incorporated at the Corporate Affairs Commission under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.
Parts of the objectives of NIFIAN is to promote common interest of member-organisations towards developing the non-interest financial services industry in Nigeria, creating an enabling regulatory environment through advocacy as well as deepening financial inclusion through market engagements and financial literacy. In addition, the Association aims to improve market resilience by fostering collaboration across the industry, promoting policies and programmes on Financial Inclusion, and sensitization of the populace for the economic development of the country through non-interest financial services offering.
The executive council is expected to steer the affairs of the association towards the realisation of its objectives for the advancement of financial inclusion through non-interest finance in Nigeria.
In his inaugural address, Usman said the journey started more than a decade ago with Nigeria Islamic Finance Working Group, a multi-institutional platform under the auspice of Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA)
“As today marks a new chapter in our pursuit, I would like to reiterate the fact that we are not there yet. This course is a journey and not a destination. While the overarching objective remains constant, the detailed operational and strategic initiatives of the Association shall continue to evolve to meet the requirements of the day.
“To this end, I pledge that over the course of my tenure, I will work with my colleagues in the Council to push some prominent initiative including promotion of sound Islamic banking and financial system and practise in Nigeria; growth and development of requisite market infrastructures such as an efficient non-interest inter-bank system.
“Pursuit of harmony in Shariah pronouncements (fatwas); represent the interest of members locally and internationally; provide advice and assistance to members pertinent to the development of their institution and deepen public awareness. I look forward to working with members to make Nigeria the Islamic Finance Hub of Africa,” Usman said.
He singled-out EFInA for the role played as the founder of what becomes NIFIAN today through its concerted support for the propagation of financial inclusion initiates through the non-interest finance industry. With the inauguration of persons of track records into the Executive Council of the Association, NIFIAN is therefore set to take on the charge towards developing the Nigerian financial markets.
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