Money Markets

The Rise of Ethical Money Markets in Africa’s #1 Economy

Lukman Seriki
Published: July 12, 2023

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The ethical money market in Nigeria is on a steady rise, showing remarkable growth. While the range of available instruments may have been limited in the past, the Non-Interest Financial Institutions Association of Nigeria (NIFIAN) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are working together to enhance the offerings. It’s a game-changer.

Revolutionizing the Money Market
Let’s rewind a few years. Non-interest financial institutions (NIFI) faced a major roadblock – the absence of ethical and interest-free instruments in the money market. They couldn’t participate in the action. But fear not, my friends, because the CBN stepped in and introduced three liquidity management instruments through the 2012 Guideline for operations of non-interest financial institutions.

The Power Trio- CSCA, CNIN, and CNI-ABS
Here’s the breakdown of the magic trio. First up, we have the CBN Safe Custody (Wadiah) Account (CSCA), where NIFI can place their surplus with the CBN for a range of tenors, subject to rollover on maturity. 

Then we have the CBN Non-Interest Note (CNIN), an interest-free loan instrument that works wonders, similar to compensating mutual balances. And last but not least, the CBN Non-Interest Asset-Backed Securities (CNI-ABS), which is all about securitization with IILM. Exciting stuff!

Lender of Last Resort-  FfLF and IDF
There’s more! The CBN, being the hero it is, introduced two instruments as a lender of last resort to assist NIFIs in Nigeria. Enter the Funding for Liquidity Facility (FfLF), an overnight instrument at a zero percent interest rate, and the Intra-day Facility (IDF), an instrument for same-day business settlement. It’s like having a financial safety net!

Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Evolution
Of course, no journey comes without its challenges. The ethical money market in Nigeria faces legal framework constraints and concerns about technology disruption with the rise of fintech. But fear not, my friends, because the market is evolving to capture these developments. We’re all about adapting and thriving!

Parent Banks and Liquidity Solutions 
Oh, and let’s not forget about the exciting world of ethical banking windows. Take Sterling Bank, for example, with its Non-Interest Banking (NIB) window, a dedicated unit separate from the conventional bank. It’s a game-changer in liquidity management, offering interest-free loans ranging from overnight to 30 days. It’s like having the best of both worlds!

A Bright Future Awaits
In conclusion, the ethical money market in Nigeria may be young, but it’s growing at a remarkable pace. Thanks to the continuous efforts of NIFIAN and the introduction of new instruments, the market is set to flourish. Get ready for a future full of endless possibilities in the world of ethical money markets in Nigeria. It’s going to be extraordinary!

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Abubakar Muhammad Musa


Abubakar Muhammad Musa is currently a Sharia Advisor and Consultant for SHAPE Knowledge Services a consulting firm based in Kuwait. He has been involved in product development, Sharia research and approval of Islamic banking products for different clients. His work covers retail banking, corporate banking and project finance deals.

Formerly, Abubakar worked as a Researcher in different units at International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Besides his primary assignments in ISRA, he taught Shariah Rules in Financial Transactions to Chartered Islamic Finance Professional (CIFP) Masters online Students of International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), Malaysia. He also taught MBA and BBA Students different Islamic Banking and Finance Subjects at University College of Bahrain.

Abubakar holds two Diplomas with distinction, one in Islamic Law and the other in Arabic Language from Al-Imam University Riyadh. He also holds LLB (Hons) degree in Shariah from the same University. He successfully completed his (CIFP) Professional Masters Degree Programme at (INCEIF), Malaysia. He had his internship program on Islamic Banking & Finance at Fajr Capital in Kuala Lumpur. During the programme, Abubakar conducted research relating to product structuring and market development.

Abdurraheem Ahmad Sayi


Abdurraheem Ahmad Sayi is a legal practitioner and Consultant of over 16 years of active legal practice. He is currently the principal partner, A.A. Sayi & Co. (Qist Chambers) and Qadi, Independent Shari’ah Panel of Lagos State – a platform, through which he has delivered several judgments of in-depth analysis, widely applauded by leading legal and intellectual icons, including learned Judges, professors of law and Islamic Studies.

He is the Executive Director/C.E.O., ClearPath Islamic Centre (Incorporated), Lekki-Lagos and Chief Imam, SilverPoint Central Mosque, Badore, Ajah-Lagos. Fondly called Imam Sayi, Abdurraheem is the designate Chairman, Shari’ah Advisory Committee, Mutual Benefit Takaaful.

Imam Sayi has also authored a few works, some of which include: The Financial Obligations: a compendium of essays on monetary or material obligations under Islamic Law and Waqf (Charity Endowment): The Governing Principles.

He holds a Certificate on Improving Personal Effectiveness from the Lagos Business School (Pan African University) and he is a recipient of numerous awards and certificates of merits.

Abdulkader Thomas


Master of Arts Law and Diplomacy, The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy.

Bachelor of Arts Arabic & Islamic Studies, The University of Chicago.

Shariah Board Experience:

Bank Muscat Meethaq (2013 – 2017)

Sterling Bank Nigeria (Since 2013)

University Bank, USA (Since 2006)


Abdulkader Thomas has over 35 years of diversified financial services experience in major markets. With a Master of Arts Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and a BA in Arabic & Islamic Studies from The University of Chicago. His areas of activity have included trade finance, real estate finance, securities and alternative finance.

As the general manager of a foreign bank branch in New York, he secured the first US regulatory approvals of Islamic mortgage and instalment credit/sale as banking instruments. Later, he secured US regulatory approval for profit sharing deposits. Abdulkader has been involved in the successful implementation of these products in the US market. With more than 17years Shariah Board Experience in Bank Muscat Meethaq, Sterling Bank Nigeria and University Bank USA, Abdulkader has worked on IFTA projects in Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, and an authority on Islamic deal structures and securities.

He also serves as a director of Alkhabeer Capital in Jeddah and Chairman of Alkhabeer (DIFC). He is a member of the international advisory board of the Securities Commission of Malaysia, a published author, and an active speaker on Islamic finance.