Friday, March 26, 2021 / 1:00PM / Bukola Akinyele-Yisau for WebTV / Header Image Credit: EcoGraphics
Nigeria needs a pragmatic approach to supporting qualitative Islamic finance education to deepen the industry and its impact on the financial market and the economy. Mr Isiaka Halidu, an MSc student of Islamic Banking & Finance at the International Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance Bayero University Kano said this in a recent discussion on the prospects of Islamic finance in Nigeria.
Speaking on wider Islamic finance knowledge, Halidu explained that Islamic finance was gaining broader interest in Nigeria as there are two full-fledged Islamic banks, a Takaful or Islamic insurance firm, and three Sukuk Issues which were all over-subscribed. According to Halidu, this shows that there are a large investor and customer awareness of non-interest-based financial transactions and instruments.
He believed the industry could be better managed with skilled and well-equipped human resources. Mr. Halidu called for investments in qualitative Islamic finance education that will equip people with the requisite skills, to constantly innovate to meet and exceed the needs and expectation in increasing customers and investors.
He stressed that detailed and fit-for-purpose Islamic finance education was a critical step for the survival and sustainability of the Islamic finance industry in the country.
Producing Quality Human Resources in the Islamic Finance Industry
He identified the following as the key steps for producing quality human resources in the Islamic Finance Industry;
- Having standard accreditation for any institutions to teach Islamic Finance. He said it will hinder underqualified person going about teaching Islamic finance. The need for the right human resources is important to get the best person that will take the industry, he said.
- The teaching of Islamic finance should not only be a pure academics course but it should also be practicalized which the students of Islamic finance should go through practical knowledge on how to innovate in the industry and come out with a good product.
- Degree awarding institutions should make professional qualifications part of their training process by ensuring that students or graduates are enrolled for professional qualifications such as AAIOFI as one of the standard bodies for Islamic finance education.
Halidu said that Islamic finance as a whole was practical and required practical explanations and processes and that this ould give students the requisite skills to meet up with industry expectations.
Job Opportunities for a Graduate in Islamic Banking
The fact that there are only two full-fledged Islamic banks in Nigeria has meant limited opportunities in banking but this could change with more banks setting up non-interest banking departments. He noted that job opportunities were appearing in other areas, which include;
- Opportunities in academia, such as lecturing
- Islamic finance advisory practice or training centre to provide quality Islamic training.
Investment in Islamic Finance Education in Nigeria
In respect of investments in Islamic finance education, Halidu thought that there was a need for more investment in Islamic finance education as the current level of investment was relatively inadequate.
Halidu argued that Nigeria should benchmark countries like Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates to grow its market. According to him, the key learning point was that both countries had the full support of the government for Islamic finance, by establishing the infrastructure to enable its growth.
He also added that there has also been a robust regulatory framework for the industry, with the capital market repositioned to support Islamic finance through instruments to assist liquidity management.
Looking at the education system, he cited the example of the Central Bank of Malaysia’s example that established the first global Islamic finance university (INCEIF)International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance.
Strategies for Nigeria
- Nigeria needs to invest more in quality Islamic finance education,
- Government has a big role in decisive decisions in investing in Islamic finance knowledge and its inclusion in the secondary school curriculum by catching them young into Islamic finance.
- The National Universities Commission (NUC) needs to introduce more Islamic finance courses at the undergraduate level and also develop a standard system for accreditation of Islamic finance courses
- E-learning should be encouraged as the world is in the era of digital technology
- There is a need for collaboration amongst the Islamic finance institutions to use the Waqf fund for contribution in the Islamic finance education investment
1. Islamic Finance to be Integrated into Capital Market Studies Curriculum in Nigeria – Akeem Oyewale
2. Nigeria Ranks Fourth in Countries Covered in Islamic Finance Research Papers Globally in 2020
3. IsDB and Oxford University Sign Agreement to Collaborate on Multidimensional Poverty Assessment
4. Achieving Instrumental Islamic Finance Education in Nigeria – Dr. Muhammad Yusuf
5. Collaboration Between Industry and Academia, Key to Developing Islamic Finance In Nigeria
6. Human Capital Development Central to Islamic Finance – Olanrewaju Sharafa