BY COBHAM NSA, ABUJA – At a time that many organisations are smarting from the adverse impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide, Nigeria’s leading non-interest financial institution, Jaiz Bank Plc, cannot stop delivering cheering news to its teeming shareholders and customers.
Proudly announcing the latest milestone, Managing Director of the Bank, Hassan Usman pointed to the current successes recorded by the Bank’s Green Account project that is gender sensitive.
Usman, who unveiled this breakthrough at the inaugural Islamic Finance and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Taskforce virtual meeting, said Jaiz Bank, in collaboration with development partners, effectually deployed its Green Account to protect the environment.
The collaborating agencies are: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and Chanja Datti.
According to Usman, “In less than a year, the project successfully diverted 113.226 tons of waste from the landfills and saved 12.285 million Kg of Green House Gases (equivalent to 1,011 cars taken off the road).”
In his presentation at the meeting, Usman also revealed that the Bank is piloting a dedicated rural women economic empowerment scheme that has so far moved about 2,239 Women out of poverty.
With the pioneering meeting meant to explore the role Islamic finance in addressing the $2.5 trillion Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) funding gap as part of the post-COVID-19 economic recovery, Usman said the Bank is fully on track to break new grounds in the nation’s financial sector
The Jaiz’s Chief Executive also highlighted the Bank’s experience as a founding signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Banking in addition to its products and initiatives launched to engage with the SDGs.
Practitioners from Africa, Europe, Gulf and South East Asia joined the UNDP; Islamic Development Bank (IDB); Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions; and the Islamic Financial Services Board to brainstorm on the Islamic finance sector moving from talk to collective action towards achieving the global Goals by 2030.
As the Taskforce’s first country partner, the UK Government’s Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister John Glen MP highlighted the global nature of the SDGs and the need for nations to work together.
Also in his remarks, Islamic Development Bank President, Bandar Hajjar, praised the initiative and called for greater cooperation between the public and private sectors while using the SDGs to inspire financial innovation.
With assets expected to reach US $3.8 trillion in 2022, Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global financial industry.
Reports indicate that achieving the 17 SDGs agreed in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will take over US$5 trillion annual investment with the current financing gap standing at around $2.5 trillion per year.
The meeting, convened by the Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC) in partnership with the UK Government, brought together over 40 global Islamic finance leaders.