Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Islamic banking will be launched in Nigeria by August 2011with technical support from the Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL), a Nigerian banker said in Dhaka on Saturday.

“We’ll hire four to five senior officials from the IBBL in line with the Islamic Development Bank’s advice,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director of the proposed Jaiz Bank Mohammad Mustapha Bintube was quoted by the Financial Express (FE), a local newspaper, as saying.

An agreement on technical services was signed between the IBBL and Jaiz Bank in the capital Friday in this connection.

Under the agreement, the IBBL will make available suitable, qualified and experienced personnel required for the efficient operation of the business, develop capacity building program for the training and development of the workforce, design and implement appropriate procedures for all processes, transactions and products to ensure smooth operations of the proposed Nigerian bank, a IBBL press statement said.

“We’ve already deposited US$35 million to the central bank of Nigeria for receiving licence of the bank,” the CEO said, adding that they would submit the copies of the agreement in both the central banks for final approval to run the first interest-free bank in Nigeria.

The country has a highly developed financial services sector, with a mix of local and international banks, asset management companies, brokerage houses, insurance companies and brokers, private equity funds and investment banks.

Currently, 24 commercial banks including foreign ones like Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank are operating their businesses across the African country. But there is no Islamic bank in Nigeria.

Nigeria, which has over 70 million Muslims accounting for 50 per cent of the total population, drafted Islamic banking guidelines in 2009, including the types of Shariah-compliant products and risk recommendations for banks.

“Over 70 per cent of the total population don’t use banking network. So we want to provide an alternative through lunching very ethical and transparent Islamic banking system to our people,” the senior banker said while describing the activities of Islamic banking in different countries in the world.

BBN/SI/AD-26Dec10-1:17 am (BST)