Finance expert suggests ways to address housing challenges facing Nigerian Muslims

Professionals have been challenged to collaborate with the Federal Mortgage Bank and the Housing Scheme to ensure that the plight of Muslims on the National Housing Funds is taken care of.

A member of the Shariah Committee at the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation, Malaysia, Dr Bashir Umar stated this during the sixth annual convention of the Guild of Muslim Professionals where he argued that Muslims should not be prevented from accessing the funds of the National Housing Scheme due to their beliefs.

He said the Muslims could achieve this by coming up with a structure and going through necessary documentation by including advocacy with the Presidency, National Assembly, to actualise this.

He said the team that would champion this course should consist, Lawyers, Shariah expert and Accountants who are willing to look into the structure of the conventional mortgage of the federal government and creating a structure by going through necessary documentation to achieve it.

“It is achievable because the CBN is pulling something together on Agriculture and non-interest in Nigeria to achieve that. He said it can only be achieved when Muslims are ready to channel their grievances through NHS and then ask for their rights,” he said.

He said that the Nigerian Muslims can adopt the New Zealand approach of endowment fund especially the act of putting together funds to actualise projects.

Speaking on impact investment and Islamic financing, Umar said both are converging because the objectives of the sharia are to achieve benefits for the people and prevent them from harm.

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Islam aims at protecting individual’s religion, live, intellect, progeny and wealth, he said.

The Islamic finance scholar said Islamic financing facilitates social mobility by providing people with what would take them out of poverty through the Zakat institution which enables wealth to be circulated among people of different class.

Dr Umar said based on the global report of Islamic Finance which is based on risk sharing, it further illustrates why the reason for an increasing convergence between Islamic finance and social finance.

“As Muslims, we have the intention of benefiting people and touching lives which spurs economic activities and growth through Zakat, Waqf, Benevolent loans and microfinance,” he said.

It was agreed at the convention that the financial Institutions that has Islamic linings should pull resources together from endowment funds generated from Pilgrims and Slaughtering of ram to reduce poverty.

By Kemi Ibrahim

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