Muslim adherents pay zakat amidst economic recovery
Amid the ongoing economic recovery in the country, a charity based organization Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF) was able to increase its zakat proceeds of N318.1 million in October 2018 to N325.3 million at the end of September 2019.
Due to the increase in this year zakat proceeds, the group was able to increase the number of states where zakat was disbursed to 21 from 17 that was covered the previous year. The additional four states include Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, and Zamfara.
Speaking during the grand finale of ZSF 2019 distribution in Lagos State, the Executive Director of the Foundation, Sulaiman Olagunju, said the organisation had empowered 2,647 people amounting to over N220 million under its 2019 zakat distribution.
“I am pleased to inform that the sum of N167, 374,712 is being distributed to 1,664 beneficiaries in Lagos State to formally end this year’s zakat distribution that began in June across the nation.
“The amount being disbursed here today is about N25 million more than that of last year that stood at N142, 938,905 in the state,’’ he said.
The executive director said that with the support of zakat payers and other well-spirited individuals, the foundation was able to increase the number of states where zakat was distributed from 17 in 2018 to 21 this year.
According to him, in 2019, the four new states where the foundation distributed zakat funds in 2019 were Kogi, Nazarawa, Niger, and Zamfara.
“It is noteworthy that despite the economic situation of the country, we were able to move up zakat collection from N318, 152,130 at the end of October 2018 to N325, 346,697 as at September 2019.
“The amount of zakat disbursed so far this year, including the one being distributed today across the 21 states, stands at N220, 348,391 to 2647 beneficiaries.
“This shows a slight increase of about N16 million above last year’s disbursement,’’ he stated.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Foundation, Dr Tajudeen Yusuf, said that the collection and distribution of zakat “is an obligation that all Muslims owe to Allah.
“In the same vein, we as recipients must see this as an opportunity to improve our circumstance from being needy to being on the path of prosperity,” he said.
Yusuf said that the activities of the foundation, as an NGO, are geared towards contributing to the nation-building.
“Just like being experienced in the conventional tax collection, there is a need to widen the zakat payer bracket.
“There are still many able Muslims, who may not know that a foundation like ours exists who collect and distribute zakat.
“It is, therefore, the duty of our current payers to introduce us to these categories of Muslims,’’ he said.
He added that the gesture is the path of the organization contribution as an NGO to nation-building.
“The government can partner or we partner with the government to entrench the dividends of democracy in the lives of Nigerians. We have the experience and technical know-how to get to the grassroots and also follow up on the judicious use of the fund.
“The government can entrust some of its poverty-alleviation resources to us for management. We are open, transparent and accountable. Our books are regularly externally audited and at the public view for scrutiny. We are proud to say that our corporate governance culture is second to none,” he said.
He commended the zakat payers and collectors saying “Our zakat payers are the heroes of Islam who continually render this obligation through the Foundation.
“We acknowledge and profusely cherish your continual patronage and unalloyed loyalty to our Foundation. may Allah continue to preserve you for His cause and reward you abundantly beyond your imagination in this world and the hereafter.
“Another group of heroes is our staff and workers who tirelessly sacrifice to mobilise the funds and materials we are distributing today. Their contribution is beyond description. Never rest on your oars,” he said.
Executive Director of Jaiz Charity Foundation, Dr. Abdullah Shuaib, called for collaboration between the Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation and Lagos State Government towards alleviating poverty among the populace.
He urged the Foundation to liaise with the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation in this regard.