No fewer than 3,556 beneficiaries across Nigeria have benefited from the N287m proceeds from the 2022 Zakat distribution organised by Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation.
At the last phase of the distribution held on Sunday in Lagos, the leading faith-based charitable organisation urges the Federal government to do more in the area of job creation, saying it will bring about peace and harmony in the country.
Notable Muslim personalities including the acting Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University of Science and Technology, Dr. Oluremi Nurudeen Olaleye, witnessed the presentation of items industrial sewing machines, deep freezers, and dummy cheques to the beneficiaries who thronged the Lagos State Secretariat Hall, Ikeja, the venue of the Zakat disbursement exercise.
Zakat, the third pillar of Islam was established by Allah to alleviate poverty, paving the way to financial Independence for dependent individuals, enhance peaceful coexistence and promote overall economic growth in society.
In history, Zakat has always been a core area of Finance and administration which ensures equity and fairness to all and sundry in society.
The Executive Director of the Foundation, Prince Sulayman Olagunju, could not hide his excitement for the successful exercise, as he expressed profound gratitude for the prayers of Zakat, saying, “We are happy and excited about today’s event and when shall be disbursing more than N287M to 3,556 beneficiaries across the country.”
According to him, “We started the disbursement about four months ago and as I speak, we’ve been to 25 states to disburse Zakat. We are so delighted to our Zakat payers because if they have not paid their Zakat, we will not have anything to disburse and I can tell them authoritatively that their prayers are being answered.”
Zakat Is A Means Towards Job Creation – Prince Olagunju
Prince Olagunju said one of the important key roles of government is to ensure peace and harmony in society through job creation.
He said, “Government needs to look for people and foundations like ours who act as channels of job creation and see how we can synergize. It’s not that we don’t go to the government, we write letters and try to form a meaningful alliance with the government, but don’t get favourable responses, maybe because we are not politicians. They don’t even look and it’s really disturbing.
“However, we have chosen to do this and nothing can discourage or stop us from doing so. I’m sincerely appealing to the government, politicians and wealthy people in our midst that the peace and harmony we desire are possible when the poor and needy in our society are taken care of. Their needs are not too much.
“With 2.5%, many of them will be so happy. You hand a sewing machine of #50,000 to someone, and he claims this is what he’s been looking for all his life, for about 13 years and he was unable to get it. When he was presented with a sewing machine and a token of #20,000, it was as if the whole world was at his feet.
So, to me, the government should look at us, and create enabling environment where charitable organisations like ours can have access to the government. Let them see what we are doing and see how we can work together.
Zakat, Important To Economic Distribution – Dr. Olaleye
The acting Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University of Science and Technology, Dr. Olaleye, disclosed that Zakat is important to economic distribution and redistribution.
He also stressed its importance to peaceful coexistence and national growth, noting that it can be a strong tool in the fight against crimes.
“Well, you see, Zakat is a cardinal principle of Islam which Allah stipulates for Muslims and Muslim communities for economic distribution and redistribution. It is that the rich will give to the poor. If you amass wealth to a certain level, you are expected to share your wealth among others.
“By so doing, you breed love, peace, and development (socioeconomic and political).
“Yes, you can use Zakat to fight crimes. When you share your wealth, you share love and peace, and someone who loves you will not commit crime against you. So, doing that, Zakat can be used to foster peace and economic development.”
He urged wealthy Nigerians to put smiles on the faces of people with the money they stack and other financial institutions:
“I want to implore wealthy Nigerians to make people happy with the money and wealth they stack in banks. Your wealth is not yours, it is God-given and when God gives you, it is not for you alone, it is for the entire community. So, once you have to share, I want you to please share.”
He advised the beneficiaries to use the money given to them for the exact purpose for which it was given.
Our Zakat Distribution Now Spreads Across Nigeria – Prof Yusuf
The Chairman, Board of Trustees, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation, Prof. Tajudeen Olalekan Yusuf expressed his gratitude to the almighty God over the transformation taking place in the lives of beneficiaries and the growth within the foundation and called on the government for synergy.
He said, “We thank Almighty Allah, Zakat aims to distribute resources in the society. So far so good, we’ve had many of our Zakat recipients who have now become Zakat Payers, that is one main of this foundation. We’ve been achieving it and we’ll keep on doing that.
“We have expanded our scope of impact, Zakat now spreads across the federation, even from states where we don’t receive Zakat, we go there and give them Zakat. We have also ensured that the money keeps increasing, we keep expanding and extending our areas of impact creation. We also have people coming forward to be part of Zakat Payers and that makes us partner with the government positively in terms of creating an environment that engenders peace, security and harmony.
“We call on the government to recognize and admit the fact that there are people who are very close to the grassroots, helping the cause of bringing about peace and security in the Nigerian federation. We also have those who have in our midst to continue to share with others as it breeds peaceful coexistence.
“Someone whose life you have transformed economically will never wage war against you, kidnap, abduct or create panic for you in society. If you have any challenge or problem, such people will come to your aid, because you are their benefactor.”
Our partnership with Zakat Foundation, Lotus Bank explains…
Lotus Bank, a non-interest banking facility that partnered with Z & S also pledges continual support to the foundation.
The Chief Executive Officer, who was ably represented by the Group Head, Retail Banking of the same facility, Adeoye Hafeez Abiodun, explained how Lotus Bank has been helping Z & S in the advancement and disbursement of Zakat.
According to him, “We are glad to partner with Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation, we are one of their bankers. One of the ways we partner is by enhancing the value of contributions made by Zakat Payers.
“When we receive the funds from the foundation, we assist in investing the money to create more value with it. Whatever money is being kept with us, we ensure that there is more value and addition to the money through ethical investment and it yields returns to the foundation. As such, the foundation gets more value and more money for distribution.
“We’ve been doing that and we are also going to look at how our colleagues, members of staff and other organizations can also make contributions to the foundation as we progress.”
He also urged the beneficiary to utilize the grants judiciously to encourage more payers of Zakat to come aboard.
The beneficiaries expressed their joy and gratitude which knew no bounds.
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