CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
By Obinna Chima
In line with the guidelines for the regulation and supervision of institutions offering non-interest financial services based on compliance to the principles of Islamic commercial jurisprudence, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the weekend announced the inauguration of the Financial Regulation Advisory Council of Experts (FRACE)
A statement from the bank said that the exercise was performed by the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi in Abuja.
The members of the FRACE whose appointment would be on part-time basis include: Sheikh Sheriff Ibrahim Saleh who is the Chairman. Others are Sheikh Adam Idoko; Dr. Ibrahim Jalo; Dr. Abdulrazaq Alaro; Dr. Bashir Aliyu Umar; Executive Director of the International Shariah Research Academy of the Bank Negara Malaysia, Dr. Mohammad Akram Laldin; and Secretary-General of the Shariah Supervisory Board of the Central Bank of Sudan, Dr. Ahmad Ali Abdallah.
The establishment of the FRACE was to ensure that products and services offered by the non-interest financial institutions satisfy the requirements for compliance to the principles underpinning their mode of operation, so as to meet the expectation of their stakeholders.
It is also expected to prevent arbitrage opportunities for these institutions to the disadvantage of conventional ones, where the non-interest institutions would unfairly draw away customers and depositors from the market in the name of compliance with Islamic commercial jurisprudence while in the real sense they are offering the same interest-based products with different names under the guise of compliance.
In his remark, Sanusi highlighted some of the duties of the FRACE which include advising not only the CBN on matters referred to it, but also availing its expertise to other regulatory agencies in the Nigerian financial sector in the area of Islamic financial services.
The governor said the appointment of the members was purely based on their expertise and experience in their field of specialization.
The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Ms. Arunma Oteh, who was at the inauguration commended the establishment of the council.
In his response, the FRACE Chairman, thanked the CBN for its efforts to develop the Nigerian financial sector through initiatives that would bring financial inclusion.