The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Islamic Corporation for Development (ICD), the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, Ayman Sejiny, and the Managing Director and CEO of Jaiz Bank-Nigeria, Hassan Usman, signed a $25 million Shariah-compliant line of financing agreement to support SMEs in Nigeria, including those adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Out of this $25 million listed open-ended fund (LoF), $10 million is being allocated under the ICD’s $250 million COVID-19 support package to help the private sector affected by the pandemic to leverage on the expertise of the banking system of its member countries.
ICD’s Line of LoF facility will help to expand Jaiz Bank’s customer base by provision of Shariah-compliant financing in response to the growing demand for Islamic finance to support, among others, projects and industries affected by COVID-19.
Sejiny said: “Continuous cooperation between ICD and Jaiz Bank, the pioneer in Islamic banking in Nigeria, will result in easier access by SMEs to Shariah-compliant financing that will meet their funding needs, as well as assist in keeping businesses open and preserving jobs, which is in line with ICD’s commitments to help the Nigerian economy to overcome the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen financial inclusion. We have no doubt that this LoF facility will provide much needed support to private sector businesses including those which have been affected by the pandemic”.
Usman added: “We are delighted with this partnership with ICD, which started in 2018 with a $20 million line of finance to support SMEs in Nigeria. The line was fully utilized by eligible SMEs, with substantial portions going to the agricultural sector. The facility was fully repaid earlier this year and has helped in generating over 791 direct jobs and positioned the bank among the major banks in repatriating non-oil export proceeds for the country.