• Friday, February 23, 2024
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TrustArthur, Lotus Capital collaborate to expand financial inclusion in Nigeria

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TrustArthur, a non-interest asset management company, collaborates with Lotus Capital Limited to host stakeholders in the fintech industry to a breakfast session held on November 22, 2023, at Lagos Oriental Hotel.

This collaboration between Islamic financial institutions and fintech companies aims to use technology for innovative, Sharia-compliant financial solutions to tackle challenges in underserved communities, fostering economic empowerment through accessible services.

Basheer Oshodi, Trust Arthur’s chief executive officer, said, “Nigeria, with its diverse population and growing economy, has long grappled with the issue of financial exclusion, leaving a significant portion of the population without access to basic financial services.”

“In an effort to bridge this gap, Islamic finance institutions, which adhere to Islamic principles, and fintech companies, known for their agility and technological prowess, have recognised the potential for synergy in expanding financial inclusion,” he said.

This was made known during the fintech breakout session themed: Expanding financial inclusion in Nigeria – The role of Islamic finance and fintech, organised by Trust Arthur and Lotus Capital.

According to him, as a provider of Sharia-compliant financial products and offering ethical and inclusive financial solutions to a wider audience, partnering with fintech companies can expand their innovative digital platforms and financial technologies.

“The collaboration aims to tap into Nigeria’s vast unbanked and underbanked population by leveraging the reach of fintech platforms. By combining the principles of Islamic finance with the efficiency and accessibility of fintech, the initiative seeks to create a more inclusive financial ecosystem,” Oshodi said.

Agnes Olatokunbo Martins, head chair, Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFina), whom Oluwatomi Eromosele, GM, EFina represented during her keynote speech emphasised Islamic finance operating basically with Islamic principles prohibiting the collection of interest and engaging in excessive uncertainty.

“In Nigeria, where a significant portion of the population adhere to Islamic principles, Islamic finance can cater for individuals and businesses seeking Sharia-complaint financial products, this includes Islamic microfinance, Islamic banking, and others.”

“By offering ethical and inclusive financial solutions, Islamic finance can attract individuals who may otherwise be hesitant to use conventional banking services,” she said.

The panel discussion covered critical topics such as bridging the gap in financial inclusion: An Islamic finance approach and Navigating fintech/crowdfunding for portfolio development in noninterest finance.

Speakers emphasised how fintechs transform noninterest finance, offering ethical investment options, while crowdfunding gains traction for funding socially impactful projects aligned with values.

Moshood Babatunde, executive director/chief financial officer of Lotus Capital said fintech and crowdfunding have emerged as instrumental forces, particularly within noninterest finance, offering investors novel opportunities to diversify their holdings and champion innovative projects.

“Fintech, a disruptive force in the financial sector, has been a catalyst for change, challenging conventional models and providing new avenues for investment. In the domain of noninterest finance, encompassing areas such as Islamic finance and ethical investing, fintech is gaining traction by offering tailored solutions to conscientious investors,” he said.

According to him, leveraging advanced technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence, fintech platforms are reshaping the landscape.

They provide investors with transparent, efficient, and ethically aligned investment options. This democratisation of access to noninterest financial instruments empowers investors to align their portfolios with their values, fostering a new era of ethical investing.

“Concurrently, crowdfunding has risen to prominence as a vehicle for funding groundbreaking projects that may struggle to secure traditional financing. Investors are increasingly turning to crowdfunding platforms to support startups and initiatives that resonate with their ethical and social values,” Babatunde said.