Have you often heard of the term ‘Sukuk’ and do not know what it is about?
This article provides you with information on Sukuk investments in Nigeria, how to invest and all you need to know about it.
Read on below:
What is sukuk?
Sukuk is a tool of investment or certificate that represents the ownership interest of the holder in an asset or pool of assets. The holder of the certificate (sukuk) is entitled to receive income from the use of the assets. The implication of this is that when the issuer of the Sukuk bond (in this case, the Federal Government) sells an individual investor or group a certificate, the Federal government then uses the proceeds of the bond to purchase an asset (which could be road construction). The individual investor or group has partial ownership of this asset and is paid an income according to contract. The issuer of the bond (Federal Government) must also make a contractual promise to buy back the bond at a future date.
Sukuk is part of the Islamic financial system which comprises institutions, products (such as Sukuk), and services. This financial system operates in accordance to Islamic law known as Shariah under the principle of Islamic commercial laws. The Islamic financial system involves the means by which corporations or governments raise capital and make other forms of investments according to Shariah. Islamic law does not permit interest rates, hence all products and services under the Islamic financial system do not have interests paid on them.
Just like conventional financial systems, Islamic financial system comprises of the following:
Insurance companies known as takaful
All of these institutions are governed both by Islamic law and the conventional finance industry’s rules and regulations.
The basic principle you need to know behind Sukuk, popularly referred to as an Islamic or Shariah-compliant “Bond”, is that the holder has undivided ownership right in a particular asset. Therefore, he or she is entitled to the return generated by that asset.
About Sukuk bonds
Sukuk is derived from the Islamic word, Sakk, which can be translated to mean legal instrument, deed, and cheque. Sakk also means to strike a deal on a paper or document. As a component of the Islamic financial system, Sukuk is a non-interest-based investment and financing instrument. However, its application is not restricted to Muslims as it conforms to ethical standards and justice. Sukuk simply finds a way for investments to take place in an alternative manner to conventional bonds. Islamic Finance is aimed at justice and equity for all parties involved in a transaction.
The difference between Sukuk bonds and Conventional bonds
Sukuk bonds represent ownership in assets while conventional bonds represent an obligation of debts from the issuer
The purposes of funds raised from a Sukuk bond are strictly for ethical purposes while proceeds from bonds issued conventionally can be used to finance any legal purpose
With Sukuk bonds, rental income is paid on assets while with conventional bonds, interest is paid.
Benefits of investing in Federal government Sukuk bonds
• When you invest in Federal government Sukuk bonds, you are guaranteed of regular cash flow. This is because rental income will be paid half-yearly to Sukuk Holders.
• The rental paid to the owner is tax-free
• Investing in Sukuk bonds is safe and risk-free because they are issued by the Federal Government of Nigeria and backed by the full faith of the FGN
• Investing in Sukuk bonds is a secure way of diversifying one’s asset portfolio
• Sukuk bonds are acceptable as collateral when borrowing from banks and other conventional financial institutions
• Sukuk bonds are classified as Liquid Asset by the Central Bank of Nigeria
- Sukuk bonds are good investment opportunities for ethical investors
Eligibility to invest in Nigeria Government Sukuk bonds
Those eligible to invest in Nigeria Government Sukuk bonds are:
– Retail investors
– High net worth individuals
– Institutional investors such as commercial banks. insurance/takaful
companies, investment companies, asset managers, pension funds, private banks, and other financial institutions.
– Ethically inclined investors
– Cooperative Societies such as religious bodies.
Usually, the unit of sales for the Nigerian government Sukuk Bond is N1,000 per unit subject to a minimum subscription of N10,000 and in multiples of N1,000 after.
Security: Sukuk bonds issued by the Federal government are backed by the full faith and credit of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Use of proceeds: Proceeds from Nigerian government Sukuk bonds are used solely for the construction of infrastructures and facilities across the country.
The Federal government Sukuk bond of 2020 has a rental rate of 11.20 % per annum and is payable half-yearly. The bond has a tenor of 7 years and will mature in June 2027 upon which the government will buy back the bond at par value (static value)
If one does not want to hold one’s sukuk to maturity, one can request his stockbroker to sell it on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) or the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange.
Why does the Federal Government issue Sukuk
- To gather funds for the construction or rehabilitation of key economic infrastructures and projects such as roads, health systems, across the country.
- To diversify the sources of government funding.
- To provide investors with an opportunity to invest in government-issued securities.
- To achieve a higher level of financial inclusion for the people.
- To serve as a reference point for pricing Sukuk issued by other financial bodies, especially private sector issuers.
The 2021 Federal Government Sukuk bond was announced by TAJBank, Nigeria’s non-interest financial institution which was appointed by the Federal Government. This made it the first time the bank will be acting in the capacity of a Receiving Agent since it began operations on December 2, 2019. If one wants to buy the Sukuk bond, all one needs to do is approach the institution authorized by the Federal government for its sale.
As an investment platform, the Sukuk bond is safe and risk-free. It also offers a stable, tax-free, rental income stream. Benefits of the Sukuk to the Nigerian economy include much-needed capital to boost infrastructural development across various sectors such as health, transportation, etc. The offer for a subscription to the N150 billion FGN Ijara Sukuk Bond was opened on the 21st of May, 2020, and closed on Tuesday June 2nd, 2020.
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