… disburses 249m to 3,624 in 27 states
A faith-based non-governmental organisation, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation has concluded its 2023 zakat distribution with the disbursement of N207,807,592 zakat proceeds to 2,685 beneficiaries across Lagos State.
The Executive Director (ED)/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Foundation, Prince Sulayman Olagunju disclosed this on Sunday, September 17 at the 19th edition of the disbursement ceremony.
Muslim News gathered that the Foundation provided cash and economic empowerment tools such as grinding machines, sewing machines, embroidery machines, refrigerators, laptops, printers, motorcycles and tricycles, among others, to beneficiaries at the well-attended event.
Some of the guests included the Rector of Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Dr Abdul Adedotun Ibraheem, who chaired the occasion; Chief Imam of Lagos, Sulaimon Oluwatoyin Abou-Nolla (represented); Managing Director, Accord Environmental Svcs Ltd. Engr. Ibraheem Salau; Chairman Board of Directors of the Foundation, Prof. Tajudeen Olalekan Yusuf; and members of the board, including Dr Abdullahi Shuaib and Imam Muhammad Tirmidhi Jamiu, among others.
Prince Olagunju disclosed that a total of N207,807,592 was disbursed to 2,685 beneficiaries across Lagos State, taking the total zakat disbursement for the year 2023 to N294,680,412 in 27 states.
According to him, “With your support, we are disbursing a total of N207,807,592 to 2,685 beneficiaries in Lagos State alone today. This will bring our total zakat disbursement this year to N294,680,412 and 3,624 beneficiaries across 27 states. It will also formally bring this year’s zakat distribution to a close.”
Sectorial analysis of disbursement
While welcoming guests, donors and beneficiaries, the ED/CEO stated that the bulk of the Lagos zakat proceeds for 2023, about a N100m went into the empowerment of artisans, traders and small-scale businesses.
“Ninety-five (95) persons with one ailment or the other were provided with funds to take care of themselves. We gave over 13 million naira in support for house rents, thereby preventing 83 families from being ejected from their homes or rendered homeless. The sum of N4,950,000 was disbursed to settle debts owed by 112 beneficiaries. We offset the school fees of 315 students to the tune of N28,355,650,” he noted.
The CEO said the exercise commenced on June 23rd with the disbursement of N59.3 million to 174 beneficiaries for health-related challenges, economic empowerment and education support.
“A substantial number of the beneficiaries were widows and orphans. It was purposely used to mark the United Nation’s International Widows’ Day.
“As we are formally rounding up this year’s zakat distribution ceremony today, it is my pleasure to inform you that we have disbursed zakat in 26 states of the federation in the last couple of months. We are indeed grateful to Allah who has helped us this far.
“We are equally appreciative of our zakat payers who repose their trust in us and have enabled us to serve Allah through their contributions. Your continuous payment of zakat and sadaqat for onward disbursement to the rightful beneficiaries has made the Foundation a household name across the country,” he noted.
Nigeria’s economic reform affects rich, poor: Tajudeen Yusuf
Chairman Board of Directors of the Foundation, Prof. Tajudeen Yusuf, in his speech, said the major economic reform Nigeria is passing through is seriously affecting both the rich and poor.
This, he said, puts more pressure on the committee during the screening of thousands of less privileged Nigerians who applied for assistance during the year under review as a result of various challenges they were facing.
While congratulating all the lucky beneficiaries, Prof Yusuf appealed to other applicants not shortlisted due to insufficient zakat collected, praying Allah to open His door of mercy for them all.
According to him, “Our role as intermediary between zakat donors and beneficiaries is a very sensitive one and of trust. Some donors may suddenly shift their patronage from us due to pressures from other channels while applicants may not be happy with us for not acceding to all or none of their requests.
“But over the years, we have remained committed to this trust consistently. This accounts for why we have annually held this event to the glory of Allah and the happiness of our stakeholders. We have continuously met the needs of our stakeholders through transparency and accountability.”
Zakat, not just financial but social, moral responsibility: YABATECH Rector
Also speaking, Dr. Ibrahim Abdul seized the opportunity to praise zakat payers, who have been consistent in paying zakat to ameliorate the suffering of the less privileged in society. He urged them to continue with the meritorious act.
According to him, “Zakat is not just a financial responsibility. It has a lot to do with moral and social responsibility. It’s having empathy for people around you and having a feeling about how to cater to the needs of the less privileged in society.
That is why we appreciate our donors for their consistency. May Allah reward them abundantly. Apart from that, we also call on the elites in the society to identify the issue of observing their social responsibility, especially as regards the payment of zakat so that they can reduce poverty in the community.
When asked if zakat distribution is not enough to address poverty in society, the YABATECH Rector blamed the economic challenges of the country, saying, “The management of the economy has an impact on the economic well-being of the people, so that is what is responsible for the lack of meaningful impact (of zakat) that we’re seeing.”
The Rector admonished the beneficiaries to have a mindset of emancipating themselves from poverty and start by giving sadaqah (small alms) till they can reach the level of zakat payers.
He added, “The mindset is very important. The hands that give are better than the ones that receive and that’s the teaching of Islam. That’s my advice to them (the beneficiaries).
Programs like this must be encouraged, must be supported — Engr. Ibraheem Salau
On his part, Engr. Ibraheem Salau, who donated an additional four solar panels to one of the beneficiaries, explained the impact of zakat distribution in society, saying that it speaks directly to poverty alleviation and encourages empathy for the needy.
According to him, programmes like this must be encouraged and supported because it speaks to the people at the bottom of the pyramid of society. So, I want to use this opportunity to thank everyone who supported this program and has made it a success and by extension, I’m extending my gratitude to Zakat and Sadaqah Foundation. I’m using this opportunity to encourage them so they can do more next time.”
The MD of Accord Environmental Services noted that he donated four (4) solar panels and extra cash to one of the zakat beneficiaries in obedience to Allah’s call by channelling zakat proceeds to support her business.
He said, “The key prompt for me was to encourage the thinking around pollution prevention because the Muslim sister that got the (solar panel) donation already has an inverter. She needed 16 but got 4 from the Foundation. Hence the need to support her with an additional four.
“So, we’re trying to obey the call of Almighty Allah by channelling our zakat to supporting her business, and in addition, encouraging sustainable development. If you’re aware, one of the top challenges that the world faces today is climate change which results from the emissions of gases.
“These are emissions that come from the burning of fossil fuel. Without the solar panels, she would have been burning energy more with petrol. With the solar panels, there will be zero emissions so that’s exactly the prompt”, he added.
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