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As request for Zakat is becoming overwhelming owing to economic downturn in the country, a non-governmental organization established for the management and administration of Zakat, Muslim Zakawaat and Sodaqaat Foundation (MUZASAF), is set to launch a N200-million endowment (Waqf) fund as part of the foundation’s 10th anniversary.
Speaking during a briefing to herald the week long activities to mark the foundation’s anniversary, the Director-General MUZASAF, Alhaji (Engr.) Mutiu Olajobi, said the endowment fund would be invested and the dividend given out to the needy.
“The sole aim of mobilising resources from members of the Ummah, primarily within the immediate community is to cater for the needs of the less privileged in the society using the divine window of Zakat.
“It was aimed at providing a credible platform for the management and administration of zakat, devoid of sectarian undertones or control, but as a trust for the generality of the Ummah. The scope had since been enlarged to have a national outlook,” he added.
He described the 10th-anniversary celebration of the Foundation as a mixed grill of success, near success and challenges, adding that there also been so many learning points.
“The period witnessed at least two recessions, hyperinflation characterised my skyrocketing prices of goods and services, scarcity of essential commodities, COVID-19 pandemic, social unrests and insecurity. This implies that more households shall continue to fall below the poverty line except something drastic happens at the micro level. As Muslims, we believe that the zakat institution, if properly managed and regulated, can lift many people out of poverty.”
He noted that the anniversary’s grand-finale is slated for Sunday, February 5, 2023 at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, with the theme, “Increase Your Blessing”.
The National Missioner of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Sheikh AbdurRahman Ahmad, will do justice to the theme, while, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, is the Special guest of Honour.
While listing its major achievements since establishment, Olajobi noted that MUZASAF was able to mobilise N62 million in zakat and sadaqat, from which N48 million were disbursed to several beneficiaries and N7 million accounting for administrative expenses.
According to him, educational support for indigent students in secondary schools and higher institutions gulped N3.5m; economic empowerment support accounted for N15m where grants were disbursed for acquisition of work assets and equipment such as sewing machines, motorcycles, freezers, computer systems, machines, among others; medical support for both children and adults to settle medical bills took N5m; widow/orphan support gulped N3.5m.
Other categories include, debt servicing, N2m; emergency relief, humanitarian welfare support, N3m; Eid-el-Fitr and Eid-el-Adha packages for the poor, N10m; food relief during COVID-19, N6m.
He added that activities of the 10th year anniversary would include, sensitisation and awareness to recruit more volunteers and donors, prayer session for donors, launching of N200 million endowment fund (waqf), among others.
He said: “Activities marking this anniversary are targeted at raising awareness about service to the community, and recruiting more volunteers and givers into our fold to do much more and reach out to many more. We also want to use the occasion to mobilise, sensitise and nurture the next generation of Da’wah workers and volunteers in this charitable work. Hence, secondary school pupils and young undergraduates shall be initiated through debates and quiz activities.
“We couldn’t have achieved those modest contributions without the belief and support of our various benefactors. Therefore, the anniversary shall afford us the opportunity to show our gratitude and appreciation to some of them. Of course, we also want to organise a prayer session for all of them wherever they may be.
“It’s gratifying (though not too pleasant to us) that we couldn’t trace or contact some of these benefactors who have only chosen to serve Allah through us without being noticed. May the Almighty Allah accept their efforts and reward them abundantly. The prayer session shall also serve as a form of intercession for those among them who might have been challenged by vagaries of life.
“The challenge of meeting requests continues to be enormous over the period. Our disbursement performances still hover around 30percent of requests. We are of the opinion that more still needs to be done to get more funds to support those who need our assistance. We also reckon that some of our donors also respond to calls from other people, societies, organisations as well; hence we need to device sustainable means of increasing funds generated annually.
“Therefore, the occasion shall also be used to institute an endowment fund (waqf) to raise substantial amount in the range of N200 million (in the first instance) as seed money, to be invested for yearly returns, which profit can be deployed to empower more people yearly. We hope more people will join us in this course. We also pray for Allah’s blessing over these efforts.”
The foundation also acknowledged the contributions of their donors and supporters, praying Allah to reward them abundantly. They said zakat remains a pillar of Islam, urging Muslims to complement their efforts in lifting people out of penury.