The management of Jaiz Bank Plc has been advised to strengthen its corporate governance in order to weather the storm of economic challenges that is currently facing Nigeria banking industry.
The Managing Director / Chief Executive of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim gave the advice during a courtesy call by the newly appointed Managing Director of Jaiz Bank Plc, Mallam Hassan Usman and some of his top Management staff.
Alhaji Ibrahim said that good corporate governance was very crucial to the bank at a time of planning to expand its operations following its recent issuance with a National banking licence by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
While congratulating the bank on its issuance with the National banking licence by the CBN, the NDIC Boss also advised the bank to be careful in its expansion plans in order to ensure seamless service delivery to its customers.
According to him, as a pioneer in non-interest banking, the bank should partner with its peers such as Stanbic IBTC and Sterling banks which have non-interest banking windows in order to explore more sharia compliant instruments. He also drew the attention of the bank to the interest being shown by Muslims and non-Muslims to its banking products and advised the bank to step up its public enlightenment efforts on the benefits of its products and services in order to increase deposits mobilisation.
Alhaji Ibrahim noted that the challenges being faced by the bank in investing its excess liquidity due to the absence of sharia compliant investment windows, such as the Sukuk (project financing) and other Islamic bonds and portfolios. He noted that while a lot of countries had tapped into the Sukuk investment window, Nigeria was still lagging behind in exploring such sharia compliant investment opportunities.
He therefore urged the Jaiz Bank Management to collaborate with the Bankers Committee, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Debt Management Office (DMO) and other relevant agencies toward the introduction of sukuk and other sharia compliant investment products in order to be competitive.
Alhaji Ibrahim reiterated the need to reduce the phenomenon of staff casualization in the banking sector. He said Jaiz Bank as a relatively young institution should avoid hiring temporary staff in view of its negative consequences on banks operations.
In his response, the Managing Director of Jaiz Bank Plc, Mallam Hassan Usman assured that the Bank had established and maintained high standards of corporate governance that were driven by checks and balances to ensure that insider credits were not only performing but also kept within the approved regulatory limits.
Mallam Usman emphasized that apart from the bank board oversight, its Advisory Committee of Experts (ACE), also looked into every aspect of the bank operations and transactions to ensure compliance with financial regulations and Islamic principles. In terms of the challenges of investing the bank excess liquidity, he informed the Corporation that the bank had made submissions to the Debt Management Office (DMO) and the Federal Ministry of Finance in order to expedite the process of developing sharia compliant investment instruments in Nigeria.
On casualization, the Jaiz Bank MD said the bank was not unmindful of the negative consequences of the trend. He disclosed that majority of its five hundred workforce were permanent staff, adding that the bank only out sourced a few aspects of its workforce such as security staff and cleaners to enable it concentrate on its core operations.