FBNQuest & The Metropolitan Firm Launch Endowment Fund for Indigent Nigerians


By Gift James

FBNQuest Trustees, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings, in partnership with the Metropolitan Law Firm has launched an endowment fund under the Islamic Banking guidelines, to cater to the education of indigent Nigerians from basic to tertiary institutions.

L-R Senior Vice President, FBNQuest, Mr. Abimbola Ajinibi; The Managing  Partner,  The Metropolitan Firm, Ummahani Amim; Head, Marketing & Business Development, FBNQuest Trustees Babajide Fetuga at the 5th Annual Islamic Estate Planning Clinic in Abuja on Sunday, March 12, 2023.

The fund, called Waqf, is an instrument of Islamic Estate Planning largely designed for charitable and philanthropic activities to solve social problems.

Ummahani Amim, Managing  Partner, The Metropolitan Firm, said N60 million seed funding has been committed to the fund and is targeted at less privileged children, particularly orphans, in the North East, by providing scholarships and complementing efforts aimed at reducing the burgeoning number of out-of-school children in the country.

She made this known at the 5th Annual Islamic Estate Planning and Clinic and the official launch of the Metropolitan Waqf fund on Sunday (12/03/2023) in Abuja.

Amin said the philanthropic activity will kick off in the North East seeing as it is the region most ravaged by insurgency and wanton killings that has left many destitute.

She added that the fund is focusing on education because it is a major social problem in the country that must be addressed for the country to attain the level of development it desires. To hear her:

“We are targeting the North East right now. It would be for everyone that meets the criteria.  We will start with scholarships, but in the long run, we intend to have schools, especially for those with the best quality education and teachers to nurture and train the children till tertiary level, and we intend to give scholarships to either study in or out of the country at the tertiary level.”

While noting that Waqf is an aspect of Islamic social financing targeted at solving social problems, she said the fund was open for donations from individuals and institutions. She equally noted that the Waqf is executed as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the Metropolitan Law Firm.

Abimbola Ajinibi, Senior Vice President, FBNQuest made the important point that non-Muslims can benefit from the endowment fund, while stressing that the role of FBNQuest would be to ensure that the interest of the beneficiaries is protected.

“Waqf is called Islamic trust. It simply means that you have three parties, a set law, trustees, and the beneficiaries. Essentially, the trustees hold assets for the benefit of the named beneficiary. Today, we are launching Metropolitan Waqf which means that we are setting up a trust for the benefit of certain people.  So we (FBN Quest) are going to act as delegate trustees to ensure that the interest of the beneficiaries is protected,” he said.

In the same vein, the Senator-Elect of FCT under the Labour Party and the member of the Board for the Metropolitan Waqf Fund, Ireti Kingibe, emphasized that the target is to help out-of-school children in the country, especially from the northern part of the country.

Kingibe also used the opportunity to assure that she would use her office, when she assumes office, to ameliorate the plight of the marginalized groups in the FCT, especially the youth, women and children.

Mutiat Olatunji, Private Trust Specialist FBNQuest, while giving an overview of the Islamic Estate Planning and Wealth Transfer, defined estate planning as a structure set up during a person’s lifetime to cater to the needs of both immediate and extended family, charitable and philanthropic activities

She also clarified that Waqf as a veritable tool for inheritance planning can also be used to cater to generational wealth transfer, medical needs, and charitable activities, amongst others.

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