The management of Jaiz Bank Plc led by its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Hassan Usman, has said the major player in the non-interest banking sector plans to expand its operations across the country.
At a recent parley with the media in Lagos, Usman said efforts would be made to sensitize Nigerians on the need to embrace products of the financial institution, saying they were open to everyone irrespective of creed or personal beliefs.
According to him, Jaiz Bank, which is an Islamic bank, operates like the conventional financial institution despite its peculiarities in terms of operations.
Making a distinction between the two types of the banking system, Usman said “conventional banks were known for their loan contracts through current accounts and terms with the promise of interests, but on the part of an Islamic bank, it does something similar (taking deposits on current accounts) without request for additional returns.”
However, he said if a customer seeks remuneration from Jaiz Bank for deposits, a different contract would be established where the deposit is exposed to look like equity, with the bank acting as an agent to trade the money, sharing proceeds from the investment between both parties.
“We have already started a pilot financial inclusion drive. We are also going to use agency banking to reach those people in places where we are not physically present,” he said, adding that despite the absence of physical presence in some parts of the country, the bank was still serving the needs of many through mobile and Internet banking.
“We are also intervening to provide finance to women group,” he stated.
Speaking on challenges faced by the lender in its emerging years, the bank chief said one of them was the lack of investment instruments such as treasury bills and bonds. However, he said in the last 18 months, the financial institution has been able to get over this with the issuance of the first and second tranches of Sukuk by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Speaking on intervention funds, Usman said the bank had been able to work with the central bank and the Bank of Industry (BoI) to support critical sectors of the economy.
According to him, the BoI provided a N3 billion financing facility for the development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector of the economy, which he said would go a long way to make things better.
Usman assured that Jaiz Bank would continuously redefine standards in all it does, stating that the company was poised to creating a responsible business that better meets its customers’ needs and a culture where its employees put customers first.
The MD of the Islamic bank also stated that the aim of the bank was to hold its role as a leader in the ethical banking sector in Sub-Saharan Africa and also strive to be the best financial service provider for customers to the bank, for employees to pursue careers and for shareholders to invest.