Written by Yunus Abdulhamid Wednesday, 15 February 2012 05:01
Nigeria’s first non-interest bank, Jaiz, said it is targeting to open 13 branches from its current three before the end of the year.
The bank started its operation on January 6, after receiving a provisional license from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
General Manager of the Bank, Hassan Usman who led a three man delegation to the Daily Trust corporate head office in Abuja, yesterday said in the past one and half months of its operation, the bank has made reasonable progress with the opening of branches in Kano and Kaduna, beside the head office in Abuja.
The new branches would be opened in the North East and North Western part of the country.
He also said the bank would spread its branch networks to other parts of the country early next year, including, Port Harcourt and Ibadan.
“The three branches we have opened are now online real time. We believe that in two to three weeks time, we would be like every other bank in terms of services and product rendering,” he said.
Non- interest banking is derived from the Islamic laws which prohibits earning interest on loans/lending and financing of businesses such as gambling and liquor, among others.
The banking option basically operates through joint ventures, leasing and sales from whence it makes it profit. It is in operation in the UK, US, Malaysia, Arabia countries and other climes.
Usman explained why the bank chose to have a low key start and why it started with current account only.
He said: “Unlike the conventional banks, we have limitation as to what type of investments we can make. We have to develop the business outlay on how to invest savings. If you are a savings account holder and you are giving us your money, we don’t have the liberty to put it on Treasury bill to earn daily interest due to the peculiarity of our operations of non-interest banking.
“We want to service everybody in this country. We have to manage the resources and invest them to get a profit (not interest). So, our priority first is to identify all the different investment outlets who will give us reasonable returns. We have discussed with reasonable number of partners and in the next few days, we should be able to start operating savings accounts. That takes some little time to do. That is being overcome and as soon as we are done sorting out logistical issues, we would embark on a media campaign to inform the general public of our operations.”
On employment, he explained that Jaiz is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of creed, race or sex.
“We are open to do business with any one provided the business does not contravene our charter. We employ anybody. What we need is competence to drive quality service delivery to our customers and partners,” he said.