The new non-interest pension fund to be launched in the last quarter of this year, may deepen financial inclusion, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sigma Pensions, Mr. Dave Uduanu, has said.
The Non-Interest Fund, which is Fund VI under the Multi-Fund structure introduced by the National Pension Commission (PenCom), is for contributors who choose to have their pension contributions invested in non-interest money and capital market products.
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Speaking at a virtual conference to promote ethical investments in Nigeria on non-interest investing hosted by Sigma Pensions, Uduanu said: “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 take off in the fourth quarter of this year. It will boost interest in non-interest finance and also deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria given the country’s large Muslim population that is not participant in the ethical fund investments and Islamic financing and this is the right time for it.”
The guest speaker and MD/CEO, Lotus Capital, Hajara Adeola, attributed increased public acceptance of non-interest finance to the support of regulatory authorities. She said the sector would enjoy even wider acceptance when the non-interest fund takes off.
The Commissioner, Administration at PenCom, Dr. Umar Farouk Aminu, disclosed that the Commission was fine-tuning an operational framework on Non Interest Fund with the objective of establishing standard and procedures for the management of Fund VI.
“The Financial Regulatory Advisory Council of Experts (FRACE) had formally certified the draft framework as being in compliance with non-interest (Islamic) finance principles.”
The Head of Department, Securities and Investment Services at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Abdulkadir Abbas, said the commission was looking at how to deepen and encourage product development in the non-interest finance market.