A Non-Governmental Organisation, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF), has called on the government at all levels to harness Zakat to reduce crime and terrorism by partnering with Zakat agencies to gain community support as the foundation ensured that half of its Zakat proceeds were used for economic empowerment.
The foundation was able to restore hope to many Nigerians with the huge money realised from the Zakat proceeds, 50 percent of the zakat was disbursed to economic empowerment and 20 percent went for medical and welfare support. 6.5 percent for educational support. 19.5 percent of the zakat was distributed for community projects, accommodation support, debt relief and institutional support.
Speaking during the foundation 18th Lagos Zakat Distribution ceremony, the Chairman Board of Directors, Prof. Tajudeen Olalekan Yusuf, said the role of the foundation, as a Zakat institution is to collaborate with the government to alleviate poverty.
“We are a positive partner of the government in terms of creating an environment that is enabling peace, security and harmony because we are close to the grassroots.
“The aim of Zakat is to distribute resources in the society. So far, so many of our Zakat beneficiaries are now Zakat payers and that has helped the foundation to expand its scope of impact across the federation.”
He implored Nigerians to share their wealth with others during this economic downturn and desist from crime.
“Share with others, if you share with others, you are sharing peace and harmony. Somebody you have given money or helped to change his economic wellbeing will never wage war against you, kidnap you or adopt you. They will rather come to your aid.
“If you have any needs, come to our office and present your case. We don’t discriminate. We give non-Muslim Zakat, once you are interviewed and you are deserving of Zakat, we will give you. We give non-Muslims because we believe we are all part of the society.”
The Chairman, Acting Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University of Technology (LASUSTECH) Dr Nurudeen Olaleye, implored wealthy Nigerians to empower the indigents with their money instead of stocking it in the bank.
“The money you stock in banks can be used to change people’s well-being. What benefit is the wealth you have that doesn’t make others happy? Wealth is God-giving, it is not for you alone but the entire community. Endeavour to share your it among the needy.”
He added that Zakat can be used to reduce the crimes bedevilling society when distributed and redistributed as enjoined by Allah (SWT).
“When you share your wealth, you share love and peace and someone who loves you will not commit a crime against you. Zakat reduces crime, brings peace and ensures economic development.”
He advised the beneficiaries to use what they are giving judiciously. “ Use whatever you are given for the purpose given.
The Executive Director of ZSF, Sulayman Olagunju said the foundation disbursed the sum of N206,642,880 Zakat proceeds in 25 states across Nigeria, noting that this is the largest public disbursement of Zakat in the country.
“The disbursement kick started on June 23 during the International Widow’s Day with the disbursement of N39, 480,000 to 104 beneficiaries in Lagos State. The total sum of N206,642,880 will be distributed at this gathering, with 2625 beneficiaries drawn from Lagos State alone. And this will formally draw the curtain of 2022 public distribution ceremonies.”
He added that the foundation has been able to restore hope to many Nigerians by providing economic empowerment tools such as grinding machines, sewing machines, embroidering machines, refrigerators, Laptops, printers, motorcycles, tricycles and a whole lot of other equipment.
“We have equally helped many others regain their health and they are now living happily without ailments, Many out-of-school children have returned to school and their bills are being paid as at when due. We paid WAEC, NECO and JAMB registration of many students even as we distributed notebooks and writing materials to many children.
He added that In the area of community projects, the foundation carried out 11 medical caravans to rural areas and 19 free distribution of household utensils, electronic items, clothing and other essential items.
“We have provided five different communities with free clean and drinkable water. We distributed assorted food items to motherless homes, physically challenged people and correctional centres. Many indigents and poor families were provided with clothes, meat and money during the Eid celebration.”