The Global Trust Bank of Nigeria said it is considering introducing banking services in Uganda that comply with Shariah Law, according to the Islamic Globe newspaper.
Uganda's Central Bank authorized Islamic banking just months ago. The Islamic banking sector is attracting many foreign suitors with firms from Kenya, South Africa and Abu Dhabi all planning on setting up shop in the country, according to the Islamic Globe.
Global Trust of Nigeria could be using Uganda as a testing ground for its Shariah Law-compliant products and services. In Nigeria, there are still a number of social and religious bars to the implementation of Islamic banking, despite the Nigerian Central Bank giving the green light for the sector and authorizing the first Islamic bank in June, said the newspaper.
Global Trust Bank is 49 percent owned by Nigeria's largest insurance company, Industrial and General Insurance Company. Some 51 percent is owned by National Insurance Corporation and a number of prominent Ugandan businessmen. The bank is going to carry out a survey of the Ugandan market to see whether Ugandans need and want Islamic banking products. We have already applied for authorization to roll out a range of Islamic banking products, the bank's managing director, Charles Ajaegbu, told The Islamic Globe.
The top Muslim leader of Uganda, Shabban Mubajje, has called upon Ugandans to adopt an Islamic economic system, saying it will help to mend the financial crisis currently affecting the economy.