BY COBHAM NSA, ABUJA
Managing Director of Jaiz Bank, Mallam Hassan Usman, says its teeming customers and the investing public can expect new and attractive products from the Bank given the prospects of positive economic outlook this year.
He said plans are already on to massively sensitize and create awareness among Nigerians and the stakeholders as part of efforts to re-position the bank for effective service delivery.
Speaking with business correspondents in Abuja, Usman said the recent listing of Jaiz Bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is a clear testimony of the improved visibility and credibility of Nigeria’s only full-fledged non-interest bank that now boast of about 27 branches in 14 states of the Federation.
With the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) granting Jaiz a national licence to do business in all 36 states, including Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Usman said the bank, established in 2003, has done well in addressing initial operational challenges evident in lack of proper awareness, shortage of trained manpower and absence of enabling infrastructure environment.
Usman, who admitted that lack of trained manpower still remains a challenge given that the industry is still a fledgling one, said many people have come to terms with the fact that non-interest banking has nothing to do with faith or religious beliefs ‘but diversification of financial services industry.
The Managing Director said though those with misconceived ideas about the bank being a charity or semi-charity organisation may have been disappointed, Jaiz has continued to record great milestones as the pioneer non-interest financial institution now listed on the stock exchange.
Still on challenges facing the bank, the Jaiz boss said, “Infrastructure for non-interest banking as there are no conforming instruments to invest in. The Federal Ministry of Finance promised to conclude work on sovereign Sukuk by the end of first quarter of 2017 but they did not meet the target.”
Also addressing the troubling issue of Non-Performing Loans (NPL) in the nation’s banking sector, Mr Usman said Jaiz’s exposure comes within reasonable limits because of its obvious restricted dealings in the oil sector.