The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has called on the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) to initiate innovative financial products to fund the private sector.
Adeosun made the call in her opening remarks at the third edition of the Africa Islamic Finance Forum organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the ICD in Lagos on Tuesday.
Adeosun, represented by Mr Aliyu Ahmed, the Director, Economics Relations Department Federal Ministry of Finance, urged the ICD to also establish a long-term commitment toward the economic development of Member Countries.
Adeosun said the forum establishes a strong partnership for the development of the private sector, the largest employer of labour worldwide, and the engine of growth in the country.
The minister noted that the country, and indeed the African region with their extensive population and market were potential destinations for the development of Islamic financing.
She assured that the Federal Government would explore every available opportunity to achieve strong and sustainable economic development.
“This serves as a tool for providing innovative sources of investment and financing support to our governments, large corporations, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and our entrepreneurs.
“We expect that ICD would be able to demonstrate to us its capacity and capability to deliver on this front,” said Adeosun.
In his welcome address, the Acting Chief Executive officer of ICD, Mr Mohammed Anmari, said the forum was to promote Islamic finance as well as showcase the finances the organisation had been providing.
Anmari, represented by the Regional Office Director, Mr Okan Altasli, said one of the major activities of ICD was to provide finance to local banks to lend to SMEs.
“It is like any other pool of capital available from both local and international resources and the difference is that Islamic finance is about risk sharing.
“This comes handy in times of economic crisis or downturns and increases the resilience of the financial sector,” said Anmari.
According to him, the two features are the most important points when it comes to helping long term sustainable growth of the economy.
Our correspondent reports that a Memoradium of Understanding (MoU) on 10 million dollars credit facility was signed by ICD and SunTrust Bank at the forum.