Jaiz Bank Plc, the pioneer of non-interest Islamic banking in Nigeria with about 45 branches across Nigeria has formally marked its 10th anniversary of ethical banking experience in Nigeria with a Dinner and Awards Night.
Although the first Islamic bank in Nigeria clocked 10 years of performance as a bank with excellence and world class banking that is allowed by Islam in January 4, 2022, the board, led by its Chairman, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab chose Tuesday, August 16 to host dignitaries to an unforgettable dinner night.
The colourful event held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, was combined with Awards of Excellence bestowed on the admirers of the bank, dead and alive, for believing in the philosophy of the bank, which is in full compliance with the ‘Shari’ah’ (Islamic principles), thereby showing unwavering support since its birth.
It was a well-attended event that saw great personalities from within and outside Nigeria. There was representation from Islamic banks in Bangladesh, Ghana, Senegal, Guinea and United Kingdom. In attendance at the epic night of activities were royal fathers, captains of industries, political leaders, top government officials, clients and friends of the bank.
The names on the list of guests is endless. Some of them were; Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Ali Pantami; Minister of Finance, Dr. Zainab Ahmed; Chairman, Gombe State Investment and Property Development Company Limited, Alhaji Umaru Kwaranga; Executive Director, Operations/CFO at Jaiz Bank PLC, Alhaji AbdulFattah Olanrewaju Amoo; Founder of Express Capital Petroleum & Gas Company Ltd, Dr Aminu Al-Hassan Dantata.
Others were former Managing Director/CEO Unity Bank Plc, Mallam Falolu Bello OFR; His Royal Highness Engr. Bello Sanni OON; former Managing Director, NDIC Nigeria, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim MNI; President of the Jama’atu Izalatul Bidi’ah wa Ikamatus Sunnah, IZALA, Sheikh Abdulahi Bala Lau; the leader of Qadiriyya Movement in Africa, Sheikh Qaribullah Nasiru Kabara; Deputy secretary Nigeria’s Supreme Council of Islamic affairs, NSCIA and Vice Chancellor of Al-Istiqamah University, Professor Salisu Shehu; National Missioner of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Ahmad, among others.
Muslim News noted the significant role played by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Pantami, who didn’t only serve as a Special Guest but also presented Awards of Excellence to many of the awardees including His Highness, the 14th Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi; Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau (Sardauna Kano), His Excellency, Ahmadu Adamu Mu’az; His Excellency, Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima (Former Governor, Zamfara).
Others were Chairman of Ja’iz Advisory Committee of Experts, Prof. Monzer Kahf; Directors of Jaiz Bank Plc who is also the Chairman of Althani Group of Companies, Alhaji (Dr) Musbau Bashir; Pioneer MD of Jaiz Bank, Mustafa Bintube; Former Minister and Official of IDB, Dr Mansur Muhtar; Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Shari’ah in Nigeria, Mallam Nafiu Baba Ahmed; and Deputy Chairman; Financial Regulatory Advisory Councils of Experts for CBN, Dr. Bashir Aliyu Umar, among others
Some eminent and distinguished Nigerians were also honoured posthumously for their contributions to the growth and development of Jaiz Bank and Nigeria. Though dead, their landmarks remain evergreen. The Chairman of Jaiz and the bank’s MD both presented awards to former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua; former Kaduna State governor, Group Captain Usman Jibrin; Late DIG Abdullah Jimeta and Alhaji Abdul Lateef Adegbite, former Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA).
Why we pioneered non-interest banking – Chairman
The Chairman of Jaiz, Mal. Mutallab, while speaking at the event, first thanked Allah for witnessing the anniversary, just as he thanked those who have supported the idea, with specific mention of Dr Sulayman Ndanusa, the former Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who he said, “with God’s assistance, through him, we got registered as the first company in this country to start as a PLC without any financial records.
“Idea of establishing the bank was to drive growth in different sectors of the economy,” he said, as he also recognised the presence of Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria, Faisal bin Ibrahim Al-Ghamdi.
The Chairman narrated how the bank started in 2012 as the pioneer Islamic non-interest bank and had grown in 10 years to a non-interest pioneer.
Mutallab said: “The main pillar to the establishment of Jaiz Bank was the approval by the Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to start operations and our mission is to ensure investments in critical sectors that will drive economic growth. Since coming onboard, some Islamic banks have also been established and many more are coming.”
The chairman noted that the bank would have kicked off earlier if not for the recapitalization policy of the Central Bank which took place in 2005
“In 2005, the Central Bank of Nigeria introduced a programme of reforms which created a new minimum paid‐up capital for all banks, from two billion naira to 25 billion naira.
“As at that time, we had raised N2 billion and ready to start but after the CBN announcement, we had to go back again and look for money.
“The birth of a non-interest bank is not an easy feat. We have spent up to 10 years doing necessary preparations before even taking off, because we were determined to, and so far, we have contributed immensely to non-interest banking because we believe it is crucial in driving economic growth in Nigeria,” he explained.
He said the collective efforts of shareholders, partners and investors have made it possible for the bank to be what it is currently, adding that Jaiz Bank is gradually becoming a model for social impact in the banking sector.
Watch out for his exclusive interview in the September edition of Muslim News print edition.
Signing Jaiz Bank licence of operation was a pleasure – Emir Sanusi
Also speaking at the event, the 14th Emir of Kano, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, congratulated the board and management of Jaiz Bank on the successes the pioneer Islamic bank in Nigeria has recorded in the last 10 years of its existence.
He said it gives him pleasure to have signed the licence of the bank as the then Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
HRH Sanusi, who was a Special Guest at the anniversary revealed that he had dedicated a whole chapter to Jaiz Bank and Islamic Finance in his book which has reached completion stage.
“It is a great pleasure for me to be here to witness the 10th anniversary of the establishment of this bank. I will try not to make a speech other than to congratulate the board, management and shareholders of this bank for the successes achieved so far. As you can imagine, it gives me great pleasure being the person who signed the licence for this bank.
“There are many stories around that, but I am sure you all know I have completed my book on my five years at the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and there is a whole chapter on Islamic finance and Jaiz Bank. So, all the details would be set up there,” he noted.
He recalled that there was so much noise about Islamic banking in Nigeria at the time he issued the licence of Jaiz..
“The one thing I would remember was the final moment before this licence was signed. After there were changes, I finally got the Board of Jaiz and the Committee of Governors of the Central Bank, and I remember sitting there and asking if the Central Bank had everything it needed for the licence. As at that time, there was so much noise about Islamic banking. Once I was satisfied, I said to the directors, I want to sign the licence of Jaiz before close of business today.
“I am happy with the successes Jaiz has recorded in the last 10 years. I wish you a very happy evening and successful AGM, and many more years of success. I pray Allah to restore our economy and improve the condition in our country.”
Take opportunity of digital transformation, Bukar says
For his part, MD/CEO, Africa Operations, Inlaks Group, Kyari Bukar, who was the Keynote Speaker, charged Jaiz Bank to take the opportunity of digital transformation to enhance its operations and service delivery to customers.
Bukar said digital transformation is a must for Islamic banking and finance, adding the youth population which constitutes the major demography in Nigeria are very savvy about technology and the digital economy.
He congratulated the directors, management and staff of Jaiz Bank for paving the way, noting, however, that they are in a never-ending journey.
He said, “One of the key things about being a pioneer is that you end up training most of the staff for your competitors. At the same time, you are what strategists call “having first mover advantage” . In any event, once you start, you start with something that has not existed before. That’s innovation. That’s the name of creativity. At the same time, you have to keep constantly renewing yourself.
“So, to the members of Board of Directors and Staff of Jaiz Bank, I say one thing, congratulations for paving the way. But it’s a never-ending journey. As soon as you reach one hill, you realize there are many more ahead of you. So, the struggle continues.
“Digital transformation is a must for Islamic banking and finance. How do we do it? And how much of it has not been done? Majority of the banking institutions in the world have been investing quite a lot of money in technology, but that’s not enough. You have to also look at the savviness of your customers. Case in point for us in Nigeria, demography says over 60 per cent of the population is less than 60 years old.
“It means you have to be there when they want you and they do not necessarily want to walk to your branches. How can that happen? Basically, that means one has to respond to what the customers expect and even be ahead of the customers when it comes to the needs of serving them. Agility can only be achieved with technology and innovation.
“According to McKinsey, there are 200 standalone fintech startups in Nigeria. Fintechs have led with innovation in product development, designing useful, convenient ways of serving the people. At the same time, they also make sure that the products and services they render are at lower cost because it is highly digitized.
“In the process, they have created multiple effect across the economy and locking new business models beyond financial services, fueling the growth of e-commerce, increasing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) talent pipeline, and moving the needle on progress towards the country’s development goals.”
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