Sokoto State Government says it has concluded plans to establish Islamic Financing Unit under the state Ministry for Budget and Economic Planning to access funds from non-interest financial institutions.
Shehu Kakale, the state Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, announced this on Sunday in Sokoto during a one day stakeholders meeting on Global Non-Interest Economy.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting was organized by the ministry in collaboration with the state Ministry of Finance and the Zakkat and Endowment Commission.
Mr Kakale said the unit would assist people of the state to explore more opportunities provided by banks with non-interest windows.
“The purpose of the meeting is to boost financial inclusion of our people who are left out due to certain Islamic principles.
“It is with great concern that our people are afraid to get loan from the conventional banking system because Islam forbids interest.
“As such, we explore an avenue to brainstorm and find ways of assisting the people to boost their businesses in line with Islamic principles,” he said.
Earlier, Chairman of the state Zakkat and Endowment Commission, Muhammad Maidoki, said the Commission had earmarked N21.1 million to be distributed to women and vulnerable persons as soft loan.
Mr Maidoki explained that women would constitute over 80 percent of the beneficiaries, adding that the money was part of donations to the commission by the state government and individuals.
He explained that the beneficiaries, who must be running small businesses, would determine the date for the repayment of the interest free loan.
He further revealed that an Indonesian based organization would establish Zakkat village in the state, where over 80 per cent of the villagers would be empowered.