By Akeeb Alarape, Osogbo
Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has been honoured for his contributory role in the development of Islamic finance system in Nigeria.
This is because Aregbesola has been awarded the “Leadership Award in Islamic Finance’ on Thursday by the International Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance (IIIBF) of the Bayero University, Kano.
The IIIBF said it gave the Governor the award because of his administration’s pioneering role in the issuance of Sukuk Bond in the country.
In 2013, Osun became the first state government to issue Islamic (Sukuk) bond in the history of Islamic finance in Nigeria.
The Osun initiative has however opened the door for other states and Federal government to explore the huge benefits derivable from the interest-free Sukuk Islamic bond.
Other awardees in this category includes, the Emir of Kano, HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and the
Chairman of Jaiz Bank, Alhaji Umar Mutallab.
In a statement by the Bureau of Communication and strategy in the office of the governor, Governor Aregbesola was quoted as saying the award represented a recognition for his administration’s many trail-blazing zeal in many respects.
In the statement signed by the Director of the Bureau, Semiu Okanlawon, Aregbesola was quoted as saying he took Sukuk because of its numerous economic benefits to develop the state.
“Sukuk offers huge opportunities and financial latitude for development because of the interest-free policy it offers debtors. It was this opportunity that we seized and utilized through the bonds to upgrade the state infrastructure in the area of education.
“The N11bn sukuk bond Osun took is what is being used to finance some of the schools being built especially the High Schools.
“Specifically it has helped us change the face of education through the construction of what can be called the best schools in Nigeria today. President Buhari was in Osun in September to commission one of such schools, The Osogbo Government High School.
“Through sukuk we have been able to fulfill one of our 6-point action plans which is restoration of functional education.
“Such financing option was never in existence before Osun blazed the trail. We therefore give glory to God for making that decision a positive one in the life of the people of Osun,” Aregbesola said.
Speaking at the award ceremony, the former Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, said Osun State is the most informed state in Nigeria on Islamic financial system.
Usman commended Osun for blazing the trail in the Islamic finances for other to follow.