The pace of Islamic banking model in the country is fast gaining momentum, just as the Non-Interest Banking unit of Sterling Bank Plc got a $15 million facility from the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).
ICD, a multilateral development financial institution said it recognised the contribution of the Sterling Bank to the growth of Islamic banking in Nigeria and Africa barely four years after it commenced operations.
It also commended the bank’s ability to use non-interest banking contracts to structure transactions in the most unique manner.
It would be recalled that the in 2014 and 2015, Sterling Bank received a line of $25 million from the International Islamic Finance Trade Corporation (ITFC) and $30 million from the ICD, both of which are members of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had in 2016, approved an array of innovative non-interest financial instruments, which will keep the franchise ahead of industry performance.
ICD was established in November 1999 to support the economic development of its member countries through the provision of finance for private sector projects, promoting competition and entrepreneurship, providing advisory services to the governments and private companies and encouraging cross border investments.
But Sterling Bank noted that the fund would provide the much-needed liquidity to finance additional projects for the benefit of the public, assuring that it would make good use of the facility.
It also stated that it would continue to support the overall objectives of ICD, which is mainly to finance projects and provide a wide range of financial products and services, support the development of Islamic financing in Nigeria and beyond through business expansion and complement the role played by ICD in the promotion of the private sector as a vehicle for boosting economic growth and prosperity.
It would be recalled that Sterling Bank Plc last year, bagged the Non-Interest Bank of the Year Africa award, for its non-interest banking window- Sterling Alternative Finance.
The award, courtesy of “The European,” is one of the major categories at the Global Banking and Finance awards held in London.
With about 200 branches offering non-interest banking services, the bank’s coverage is considered the best in Africa, quality of staff, consultants and advisors such as Sheikh Abdulkader Thomas who belongs to several advisory boards globally.
The bank has assured that it will continue to intensify efforts to sell Sterling Alternative Finance offerings to customers and prospects and remain a reference institution in non-interest banking not only in Africa but globally.