CBN to license first Islamic bank to float Islamic bonds

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The nation’s quest of becoming the hub of Islamic banking in West Africa received a boost on Monday, as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other relevant agencies concluded plans to issue the first first licence within the next 18 months.

“We are working with the Debt Management Office. The Central Bank is collaborating with them on capacity building. We do have a target of issuing a first sovereign sukuk in Nigeria within 18 months,” he said.

He, however, declined to say how much will be issued, stating that the process had just started and the decision on amount issued will be taken by the finance minister and the Debt Management Office.

Sanusi said Nigeria was on track to approve its first Islamic bank and was working towards becoming a regional hub for Islamic banking.

He said the apex bank had given an implicit approval to Jaiz Bank, the country’s first Islamic bank. Jaiz Bank has six months to comply with the Central Bank’s terms to get a final licence.

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