Lotus Capital Unveils Waqf Endowment Fund

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The Lotus Capital Limited has launched its Waqf Endowment Fund (WEF) to address specific social imbalance, societal ills, according to Islamic injunction.
Speaking at the launch, the Managing Director/CEO, Lotus Capital Limited, Hajara Adeola stated that Waqf was launch to give a sustainable benefit to beneficiaries, irrespective of their social standing.
She said: “The idea is a charitable deed in perpetuity, that’s the idea behind it. Waqf simply means endowment. One definition for Waqf endowment is to keep wealth that can give benefit. The idea for this Lotus Waqf endowment fund is actually like a social welfare fund, it’s intended to be like a charity retirement account.
“But unlike retirement account, which starts when you stop working and stops when you die, this Lotus Waqf Endowment Fund is intended to start while you are alive and keep going while you pass away hopefully in perpetuity. Words like sustainability, renewable and SDGs are all incorporated in this fund. This is a renewable fund, renewable charity and it is intended to address a lot of the ills that are in society.”
Noting that Lotus Capital exists to provide financial solution to needs in an ethical way, the managing director opined that Waqf plays an important role in society.
She added: “And research has shown that society or countries that have very large endowment in their plethora, you find that social welfare and poverty is very much reduced. And you find the opposite when Waqf endowment is absent. Government cannot do it alone.
“The best institutions in the world like Havard University are essentially waqf endowment and they run into tens of millions of US dollars. So, everything that you see that is good in those society, the root of it comes down to this structure.”
Adeola maintained that the fund “is meant to democratise waqf and make it accessible to everyone in a well structured, well manage and sustainable way.”
She also noted that the fund goes beyond an individual to collectively impact society positively.
“Our hope is that this fund would grow beyond our expectations. And more importantly, spur others to set up similar waqf for many different objectives,” she said.
In his address, Chairman, Lotus Capital Limited, Mr Fola Adeola disclosed that Waqf endowment fund, when judiciously used, solves societal challenges when funds are invested in it.
He said: “In 2008, we set up the first fund, the Halal fund, and it’s always like giving back to a child. If we have agencies like Lotus who are trained fund managers, who have credibility, who have pedigree, who can be reported to people who you know in the same community, our five thousand, ten thousand, 100 thousand, 10 million or 100 million, when we pull these monies together, we can then begin to do good things. There is nothing Waqf fund cannot be set up to do.”
According to him, Waqf fund is not one of the five pillars of Islam but failure to do it will deny people a fair society.
He posited: “If we don’t do it, we are not entitled to a fair society. That’s the consequence that we face. This is not an imposition because not everyone that has excess. Don’t punish yourself because you want to do Waqf. No. It is good to think of people who are inferior to yourself or think of a passion that you have and invest in it.
Director, Lotus Capital Limited, Dr Nurudeen Lemu noted that WEF was different from the traditional one people are familiar with.
He said: “This kind of Waqf is a bit different from what traditional Waqf was because the waqf we have, once you can put cash in, means people can contribute to it. Our prayer is, this particular fund with a particular purpose will inspire others to build inter-generational fund that would solve all the challenges that today we would mention but which belong to what someone referred to as infinite game.”

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