The joy of parents of Aisha Salisu, the eight-year-old girl who needed a huge sum of money for an orthopaedic surgery on her deformed leg knew no bounds as Jaiz Zakat and Waqf Trust Foundation, JZWTF, dazzled her with N410,000.
The presentation was made during the launching of the maiden edition of the foundation’s publication, powered by Jaiz Bank, held at University of Lagos Central Mosque, Akoka, Lagos recently. Little Aisha was one of the 49 other Muslims who benefited from the N5million zakat distributed by the Foundation.
Eight persons also received financial assistance to settle their education bills while another eight beneficiaries were supported with funds to meet their accommodation needs in Lagos. Still another set of five beneficiaries received various financial assistance to offset their medical bills.
Distributing the cheques and empowerment tools to the beneficiaries, Imam Abdullahi Shuaib, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the JZWTF explained that the Board of Directors of Jaiz Family graciously approved N5 million for distribution to 49 beneficiaries including little Aisha who is suffering from limb deformity and needed the money for orthopaedic surgery.
“Out of these, 28 beneficiaries were empowered to either start new businesses or to grow existing businesses.The least beneficiary here today got N40,000 while the beneficiary with the highest financial assistance received N410,000. Some Islamic organisations like the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) also received financial assistance of N350,000 to equip their office,” Shuaib said.
Shuaib called for collaboration between the JZWTF and all Islamic organisations like The Muslim Congress (TMC), NASFAT, The Companions and MURIC in the country with a view to driving its programme of alleviating poverty among the Muslim Ummah.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, Prof Lai Olurode, described the zakat distribution by JZWTF as very important because it showcases the practicality of Islam.
“Islam as a religion is not just about worship and praying five times daily. It’s about politics, economic empowerment, poverty eradication and development in all its ramifications,” Olurode, who doubles as the Chairman of the Unilag Muslim community, said.
He added that education was a very important element in poverty eradication.
“So, if our children are not in school, if our children are not empowered, it will be difficult to attain greater height in this world and prepare for the hereafter.This is why what Jaiz is doing is very significant, because it’s going to take a lot of people out of poverty. So, I want to commend Jaiz family, he added.
The chairman requested that Jaiz management should recognise the University of Lagos Muslim community as an institutional beneficiary of zakat fund.
In his welcome remarks, the Director-General/CEO of Jaiz Zakat and Waqf Trust Fund, Ambassador Adamu Babangida traced the history of the Islamic financial conglomerate to 2007 when the idea was hatched.
“It took almost 11 odd years for Dr Umaru Muttallab and other professionals in this country to see to the establishment of the first non-interest charging Islamic bank in Nigeria.
“Jaiz Bank came into existence some six years ago, starting as a regional bank. Alhamdulillah, today, it’s a national bank authorised to own branches in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria and the branches have started to increase from last year when the national licence was obtained. If you have noticed in the Southwest, Southeast and other regions of Nigeria, we have been in the process of expanding and opening branches.
“Now, this bank, the whole of Jaiz Bank PLC, also decided to establish the Jaiz Charity and Development Foundation within the objectives of the corporate social responsibility of the bank and to be fully involved in developmental and charitable activities for the development of Nigeria and especially the less privileged in the society,” Babangida said.
He said the foundation has taken up a fundamental aspect of Islamic welfare by establishing the Zakat and Waqf Management.
“The foundation has deemed it fit to establish a special section that will be technically able to collect and distribute zakat and its management in this country.And that gave rise to the establishment of Jaiz Zakat and Waqaf Trust Fund”, he added.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Fatima Abiola Ilesanmi, on behalf of others, thanked the JZWTF for the gesture and prayed that come next year, these beneficiaries too should be economically fit to pay zakat.