By Qudus Abiola Ojomo
The Companion, an association of Muslim men in business and the professions, has disbursed the sum of thirty million naira (N30 million) Zakat proceeds for the year 2023 to 160 beneficiaries across the country.
The Lagos district of the organisation held its 10th distribution ceremony on Sunday at Secretariat Mosque Hall, Ikeja, GRA, Ikeja where no fewer than 90 less privileged Muslims benefitted.
Some of the beneficiaries were awarded business grants worth NGN 500,000 each while others received several items that fulfilled their needs such as a deep freezer, pepper grinding machine, flour grinding machine and personal computers (laptops).
Similar event which held between between 10th to 18th of June, 2023 across the remaining four districts of the organisation saw two beneficiaries get business grants of NGN 500,000 each.
At other districts; 23 beneficiaries received their Zakat at the Kwara district, 22 received in Abuja district, 10 received in Cross River district and 6 in Oyo district.
The Amir, Lagos district of the organisation, Alhaji AbdulKabir Olayiwola Baruwa welcomed guests to the event, saying that Zakat being the third pillar of Islam must be embraced by all and without it, the practice of our religion will be deficient.
He disclosed that close to 30 million naira was received and disbursed as Zakat this year throughout the country, noting that it is a shortfall from the amount received last year.
When asked what could be responsible for this shortfall, Alhaji Baruwa responded that “things are a bit tough and businesses are challenged arising from the tough business environment in the country”.
He further added that things will improve and the prospect (for the forthcoming year) is higher with the hope that the economy will improve with the new government (of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu).
While speaking at the Lagos disbursement, Director of ClearPath Islamic Centre, Lekki, Ustadh AbdulKabir Nasir Al-Asfar, discussed the topic “Reducing endemic poverty and social insecurity: The role of Zakat institution”.
Al-Asfar, a certified auditor on Islamic financial transactions, mentioned that the spate of social vices in Nigeria has worsened due to endemic poverty, saying that people could not afford the basic needs of life such as food, clothing and shelter.
While speaking with Muslim News, Ustadh Al-Asfar added that ignorance is the major factor to the collection of Zakat in Nigeria. Other factors he mentioned include lack of coordination and trust.
The beneficiaries extolled the organisation for putting smiles in their faces. Olawuyi Mutahiru, who received a business grant, said the fund will assist his business which involves getting flour for people who bake or use it for snacks.
He added that the process of securing Zakat is easier when compared to securing loans from commercial banks which will still come with interest.
Another beneficiary, Muminat Awolola, who trades drinks such as zobo at bus stops and always needs to keep them cool with iced blocks lauded the organisers for awarding her a chest freezer. She enjoined all Muslims to practice their religion as it ought to be practiced as Islam is a good religion.
Some of the dignitaries in attendance included the Chairman of the event, Alhaji Idris Shehu; former Amir, The Companion, Lagos district, Alhaji AbdulGhaniy AbdulMajeed and National Financial Secretary of The Companion, Alhaji Azeez Momoh, representing the National Ameer, Engnr. Kamil Olalekan.
SUPPORT MUSLIM NEWS NIGERIA
With your generous financial contributions to MUSLIM NEWS, you are helping to sustain a culture of journalistic integrity that promotes tranquil Islamic values and ensures it remains free and available to all.
Rawshield PR Company
Guaranty Trust Bank