It is now an emerging trend that investors are finding ethical businesses and activities as key areas for consideration in investments.

Nigeria has been noted to be a prospective hub for Islamic finance investments in Africa, with various products and instruments attracting interest from institutional and retail investors.  

In line with this thinking, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed recently between Nasrul-lahi-li-fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) and Halal Invest Limited.

The President of NASFAT, Mr. Olaniyi Yusuf, said the MoU would encourage the growth of the non-interest finance market and promote the activities of Halal (permissible or Islamically sanctioned) businesses.

Mr. Yusuf said the Halal Invest had set a target to acquire more customers, which would be done through a fit-for-purpose App. 

The NASFAT President said part of its mandate would support the growth of Islamic finance education in the country. According to him, this involves increased awareness about Halal investments, while the Islamic society organizes webinars and has a NASFAT Fountain University based in Osogbo, Osun State.

He said NASFAT has always been partnering with non-interest finance banks by helping them to showcase their products, to their members either during exhibitions or conferences.

On how NASFAT is leveraging technology, he said the MOU with Halal investment would educate and empower investors to make wise decisions around Halal products.

The Chief Executive Officer of Halal Invest, Mr. Abdulazeez Oguntoyinbo, said Halal Invest is a digital platform that works with several partners to advertise their products and earn commissions. He said the Halal investment would earn income from transactional fees as they work with partners like Sun Trust Bank to drive agency banking.

He also explained that part of Halal’s efforts was to work with other institutions for advocacy and training, addressing the huge gap in Islamic finance education in the country.

Mr. Oguntoyinbo said the US$10,000 fund that Halal Invest Limited received from the NASFAT Build Initiative,  would be used to upgrade its technology infrastructure to accommodate more users and target over 10,000 users in the next year. 

He said that the company was incorporating different product offerings for different segments including Islamic banking, insurance (Takaful), and investments.

The Halal Invest Chief Operating Officer, Mr. AbdulAkeem Akinbode, said part of the significance of the MOU to the Islamic faith and Financial Market is bridging the gap in the use of Islamic financial services by Muslims, who want to access ethical products.

Akinbode believed this was an opportunity for all classes of people to access the Halal Invest platform and improve financial inclusion. The event featured strategic partners of Halal Invest who provided insights on how they intend to support the company. 

The Business Development Manager of Sun Trust non-interest banking Mr. Kadiri Abioye, said the bank would support Halal Investment by providing a platform for the institution to operate and also showcase its products.

The MD/CEO of Cornerstone Takaful Nigeria, Mrs. Thaibat Adeniran, described the MOU as a laudable initiative. She said Halal Invest would bring several customers to the “Takaful” service.

Speaking further on how Takaful companies could work with NASFAT to improve access to insurance, she said NASFAT  had a large membership and it could support the Islamic insurance sector to grow. The Takaful policy could operate on the Halal Invest platform and could also be used for other laudable activities. 

Mr. Monsur Musa, a member of the Institute of Islamic Finance Professionals of Nigeria, lauded the partnership between NASFAT and Halal Invest, noting that it would serve as an opportunity for many Muslims to access Halal investment products. 

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