The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has restated its determination to deepen the non-interest segment of the Nigerian capital markets in order to enable million ethical investors participate in the market.
Director General of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo, who stated this at a regional round table on Non-interest Capital Market in Kano, Monday, disclosed that investors worldwide are increasingly allocating their resources into Islamic a finance products adding that by the end of 2014, total assets under management in the global Islamic finance industry surpassed $2 trillion.
Gwarzo said while most people identify capital markets as an important source of medium-to-long term capital flow, there is also an amazing potential of capital markets to serve as a catalyst for financial inclusion adding that going forward, the SEC will focus on massive public enlightenment and also stronger capacity building initiatives.
He said: “Our focus for this roundtable is on Sukuk, one of the most important components of the Islamic financial system. The global Sukuk market continues to witness remarkable growth since after the 2008 global financial crisis as annual issuances have grown from $15 billion in 2008 to almost $120 billion in 2014,” he said.
While describing Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirate, Kuwait and Qatar as the top five largest Islamic finance markets in the world, in that order as they account for the highest sukukissuances and contribute more than half of the total assets under management in the industry, Gwarzo said that with Nigeria’s population which is far more than all the five countries put together, the country should be a major market for global Islamic finance market.
“With over 80 million Muslims, Nigeria is home to far more Muslims than all the five countries put together. Additionally, Nigeria has a larger economy than them, with the exception of Saudi Arabia. There is therefore no reason why Nigeria should not be a major global Islamic finance market,” he said.
Gwarzo said to transform Nigeria’s potential to reality in this regard, SEC in 2013 set up an industry-wide committee of experts to develop a strategic blueprint for the growth and development of Nigeria’s non-interest capital market.
According to him, their recommendations have been have been incorporated in the 10-year Capital Market Master Plan which is currently being implemented by the commission.