Mr. Dave Uduanu, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Sigma Pensions, has stated that the new non-interest pension fund, which will be launched in the fourth quarter of this year, will deepen financial inclusion.
The Non-Interest Fund, which is Fund VI in the National Pension Commission’s (PenCom) Multi-Fund system, is for contributors who want their pension payments invested in non-interest money and capital market goods.
Uduanu said at a virtual conference hosted by Sigma Pensions to promote ethical investments in Nigeria on non-interest investing: “The Islamic finance global market has been expanding rapidly in recent years, recording 15-20 percent annual growth and is estimated to be worth $3 trillion, and the industry is gaining wider recognition in Nigeria.”
The non-interest fund will begin operations in the fourth quarter of this year. Given the country’s large Muslim population that is not involved in ethical fund investments and Islamic financing, it will increase interest in non-interest finance while also deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria, and this is the right time for it.
Hajara Adeola, guest speaker and MD/CEO of Lotus Capital, attributed increased public acceptance of non-interest finance to regulatory authorities’ support. She predicted that when the non-interest fund takes off, the sector will gain even more traction.
Dr. Umar Farouk Aminu, Commissioner of Administration at PenCom, revealed that the Commission was fine-tuning an operational framework on Non Interest Fund with the goal of establishing standards and procedures for the management of Fund VI.
“The Financial Regulatory Advisory Council of Experts (FRACE) formally certified the draft framework as adhering to non-interest (Islamic) finance principles.”
Mr Abdulkadir Abbas, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Head of Department, Securities and Investment Services, stated that the commission was looking into ways to deepen and encourage product development in the non-interest finance market.