1500 beneficiaries get N143 million zakat in Lagos
No fewer than 1516 beneficiaries were recently blessed with the proceeds of zakat in Lagos to help them meet their social and economic needs.
Anchored by Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation, the 14th Zakat Distribution Ceremony held at Alausa Secretariat Mosque, Ikeja, attracted scores of faithful and top government functionaries who believed that zakat should be given legal backing by the government in order to give financial empowerment to the needy.
Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. Abdullateef Abdulhakeem, said: “Anyone who possesses wealth must realise that he/she is a distributor on behalf of the giver – Allah. There is so much wealth within the community but because we have failed to activate our sense of generosity, so many people are suffering today.
“Charity will do a lot to alleviate poverty in the society. Zakat is something that even the government should give legal backing to. It will be a form of Public Private Partnership that will assist the government to get funds for the purpose of alleviating poverty.
“Organisations like this should be given support. Governance is also about touching the lives of people in the society.”
Executive Director, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation, Prince Sulayman Olagunju, said the foundation was worried about the growing rate of poverty in the country.
He said: “We were deeply touched to see the numbers of Nigerians who were wallowing in abject poverty, which has been one of the propelling forces driving us to step up zakat collections on yearly basis despite the economic situation of our country.
“Today, with the support of our zakat payers, we are pleased to inform you that the sum of N142,938,905 is being distributed to 1,516 beneficiaries in Lagos State out of the N318,152,130 Zakat mobilized for this year, 2018 as at October 31.
“However, we still have a long way to go as many are still lacking in basic necessities of life such as food, clothing and shelter. We appeal to Muslims passionately to help us create jobs, by contributing their own quota to building an egalitarian society.”
ZSF Board of Directors Chairman, Dr. Tajudeen Yusuf, appealed to Nigerians to join in the efforts to stop poverty in the country.
“Poverty can be eradicated in Nigeria. We are prepared to work towards the eradication. Poverty is not our own portion as Muslims, so we are not just focused on alleviating but eradicating.
“It is gratifying for me that each year we come here, our performance has always been better than previous year.
“Secondly, a programme titled KOSOSI Forum would be launched on Sunday, December 23, 2018 where we seek to equip our economic empowerment beneficiaries in such a manner that they become economically accountable and self-reliant.”
Chief Imam of Lagos State Sheikh Sulaiman Oluwatoyin Abou-Nollah, advised Muslims to prioritise investments in areas capable of reducing poverty among Muslims.
He said: “It is important for us to invest. There is no how that we can get to the level that we want to be without investing. It is key for us to invest. Zakaat is about enriching poor people so that they can get to the level that is sustainable. We have a lot of challenges in Nigeria to make us surmount the economic challenge.”
Chairman of the occasion and immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Bello Rahmon, advised that investments should be focused towards the health needs of Nigeria.
He said: “This is one of the few events to showcase the beauty of Islam. It is an aspect of our religion that must be put to use. The level of unemployment is high. You find hundreds and thousands of graduates walking around with nothing to do. This results to poor health and Zakat is one of the ways to get this resolved.
We must continue to consider the possibilities of setting up institutions that can assist with unemployment and health challenges. We need to set up clinics that attend to prevalent ailments in our society.”
Jaiz Charity Foundation Executive Director, Imam Abdullahi Shuaib, warned against the danger of not paying Zakat.
“Allah gave us the institution of Zakaat for specific purpose but some of us are ungrateful elements. Some Muslims are capable of paying but they won’t pay. Muslims should not be rich and poor at the same time.
“Zakat is a means to bail us out. With the prevalence of poverty in our society, we must make it a habit to pay zakat. It is a potent tool for poverty alleviation,” he said.