A faith-based organisation, Jaiz Charity and Development Foundation, has disbursed over N200 million to beneficiaries in 17 states, including the Federal capital territory (FCT), Abuja since its inception in 2016.
The figure was revealed by the Foundation’s Director/Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Abdullahi Shuaib in an exclusive interview with Muslim News at his residence in Lagos during the week.
Imam Shuaib, who recently bagged his PhD at the Loughborough University, England, said, “From the day I joined the Jaiz Foundation in 2016 till date, more than N200 million have been collected and disbursed to beneficiaries in 17 states from 6 geopolitical zone of Nigeria.”
According to him, “We have taken the Foundation to nothing less than 17 states out of the 36 States of the Federation. We have covered virtually all the States in the North except Jigawa. We have been to all the South-Eastern States. We have also covered more than 90% of the South South States. The only States we haven’t covered in the South South are Akwa Ibom and Delta States.
“Of course, we have been to the South West, disbursed millions to beneficiaries in Ondo, Lagos and Osun. We have covered partly Ogun and Oyo. We haven’t been to Ekiti but we’ll be there soon, in shaa Allah,” he added.
Dr Shuaib said cash was spent on humanitarian, educational and agricultural interventions, adding that, “we have also provided medical relief materials to needy communities across the country. Likewise, we assist entrepreneurial individuals and small scale industrialists with the needed fund and support to effectively run their businesses, among others.”
While assuring that the Foundation would cover the remaining States and put smiles on the faces of less privileged, he revealed the plan to flag off the first Islamic charitable endowment otherwise known as Waqf, with the construction of a whopping N23 million education, skills and vocational training centre in Katsina State before the end of 2019.
He said, “This will be the first Waqf that I will be putting in place. It is a plot of land which was given to the Foundation by a woman for educational waqf, even before I joined the Foundation but for whatever reason, it wasn’t given consideration. She wanted the place to be used for a Library but when I visited the area and looked at the need of the people, I discovered that it wasn’t a Library they needed.
“Besides, with the level of the technological advancement in our society, people now rely more on electronic or mobile library where they can get everything on their finger tips, not the traditional physical library.
“The people need education. Not just education but a kind of specialised technical school where they will acquire skills apart from the normal elementary education. The building, in shaa Allah, is going to be a story building for educational waqf especially for the less privileged people and as we speak, it has gotten to a lintel level and our target is to deliver the building before the end of the year.
In his assessment of Zakat institution in Nigeria, Imam Shuaib said Zakat is the most unpopular pillar of Islam in the Muslim community.
Speaking further, he noted, “Even among the ‘scholars’, ‘imams’, they make effort only on the theoretical aspect of the zakat institution, reminding the generality of Muslims the position of Zakat in Islam. But in practice, they are also no where to be found.
“That is why year in, year out, funds that run into millions, if not billions, have been disbursed as Zakat yet poverty is still on the rise in the community. You begin to ask, is Zakat not meant to alleviate or even completely eradicate poverty? Why is poverty on the rise despite huge lots of money spent continuously over the period of years?
“The answer to this mind boggling question isn’t farfetched. It is majorly about the collection and the disbursement (distribution). That’s why at Jaiz Charity and Development Foundation, we try as much as possible, having collected the Zakat, distribute it in accordance with the dictate of Allah, for it to become impactful in the community where it is being distributed,” he added.
Watch out for the full interview
By Rasheed Abubakar and Bushrah Olagunju-Matemilola