How Nigeria’s Emefiele beat Ghana to emerge as head of Islamic Finance Institution

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Nigeria’s special role in holding on to Islamic values in the West African sub region may have qualified it to head the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILMC), with the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, emerging as its new chairman.

Unconfirmed report said the IILMC board of directors was presented with two countries, Ghana and Nigeria, to choose one to man the affairs of the body outside any of the hard core Islamic countries, but Nigeria was unanimously elected.

Those who projected Nigeria before the international body were said to have hinged their argument on the fact that the country is making progress in holding out some core values to ECOWAS countries.

Said a CBN official: “Though the country was initially not interest in the position given its negative interpretation locally, the overwhelming support of member-countries made it impossible not to take up the responsibility.

“Nobody should read any other meaning to this beyond the fact that the Corporation is a purely economic bloc that has been embraced by many countries of the world, irrespective of religious affiliations.

“Mind you, Nigria is already a member of the Organization of Islamic Countries (IOC) in the past 20 years; so that its apex bank is given opportunity to serve at that level is cheering news, which other countries will even envy Nigeria for.”

However, an indication that this might not go down well in the financial sector came from a retired banker, who cautioned “policy makers to be careful on the implications of pushing the country towards unconventional systems, otherwise, the western economies will desert Nigeria at its critical state.”

But an official statement on Friday, by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said Emefiele was elected on Thursday in Jakarta, Indonesia on merit.

According to him, by this development, Emefiele had also become the head of the general assembly of the financial body comprising nine countries and the Islamic Development Bank.

He added that by this development, Emefiele had also become the head of the general assembly of the financial body comprising nine countries and the Islamic Development Bank, with headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The International IILMC is a global institution established by central banks, monetary authorities and multilateral organizations to create and issue short-term Shariah-compliant financial instruments to facilitate effective cross-border Islamic liquidity management.

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But because of its commitment towards creating funds to countries that are Shariah-compliant, by helping them have Islamic financial services, the IILM has not been admitted to the board of the World Bank, said a report.

The body’s major mandates include developing a robust Islamic liquidity management as well as seeing to growth of cross-border liquidity management for institutions that offer Islamic financial loans, which go without interest.

The organisation is also charged with the responsibility of enabling a future global finance industry with greater connectivity, stability and sophistication.

The body, which was established in 2010, is open to central banks, monetary authorities, financial regulatory authorities or government ministries or agencies that have regulatory oversight of finance or trade and commerce, and multilateral organisations.

The current shareholders comprise of central banks and monetary authorities of Indonesia, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Qatar, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the Islamic Development Bank.



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