L-R: HRH, Oba (Dr.) AbdulMojeed Toye Alatise, Gbegande of Ososa, Alhaji AbdulQudus Abass and Imam Abdullahi Shuaib, ED/CEO, ZSF
In a country estimated to have about 163 million population, a staggering 112.519 million of the populace are living under relative poverty conditions.
This sad information about Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and the most populous balck nation on earth, was revealed on Sunday by the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF), Imam Abdullahi Shuaib during the 4th Zakat Distribution Ceremony (ZDC) at the multi-purpose Hall of the Ijebu-Ode Central Mosque, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
Referring to the statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics, Imam Shuaib described the situation as “ugly.”
“This statistics”, he said, “has shown that majority of Nigerians are living under harsh economic conditions engineered by endemic poverty and corruption which is in the increase. Who will bell the cat in this circumstance? We are aware that government alone cannot meet all the needs of its citizenry. This is what informed the intervention of Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation [ZSF] to complement the services government is providing to its people.” ZSF, Shuaib said, pays more attention to the poor and needy at the grassroots level.
“These are Nigerians that produce the wealth of the nation but are disconnected from having a fair share of the resources. Therefore, Zakat, which is the third pillar of Islam readily provides the tool to fill the gap created by the economic inequality and deprivation meted to the poor by asking the eligible Muslims to pay 2.5 per cent of a minimum amount of N731, 000 and above of their net wealth called Nisab Zakat to empower their poor brothers and sisters so that they can attain economic freedom and become self-reliant,” he said.
According to him, no fewer than 50 people will benefit from N3,335,000 million to be distributed.
Imam Shuaib reiterated that the foundation focus more attention on building capacity for the poor and supporting their economic empowerment drive.
He said: “At this ceremony, some of the beneficiaries will go home with motor-cycle, barbing clippers with generator, deep freezers, embroidering machine, grinding machine and computer sets among others. It is our hope and prayer that with these equipment and financial tokens to supplement their business enterprises, the beneficiaries will be able to fend for themselves and also contribute meaningfully to the economic growth of the nation in the nearest future.
“It is our collective responsibility to develop our people and improve our nation by adding values to the life of Nigerians so that we can have a peaceful society that will be conducive for investors to stay and do business. When this is achieved, many of the unemployed youths will be engaged constructively.”
He urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the Zakat fund “so that your living conditions can be improved and ultimately make you self-reliant.”