Use Zakat to leverage COVID-19 shortfall

The Executive Director of Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF) Prince Sulayman Olagunju has called on the government to leverage on the Zakat and Waqf institution to cushion the shortfall on the revenue generation occasioned by the Coronavirus.

Olagunju said this period called for a serious look into the option of Zakat as another means of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

According to him, funds from Zakat payers could be used for various things, among which are putting in place infrastructure facilities and ameliorating the sufferings of the masses.

“Everyone is talking about palliative during this troubling period. With Zakat funds in place, many things would have been catered for and there would still be funds available for other projects.

What the government needs to do is to institutionalise Zakat with a legal framework and a board to drive it. In the last few years, we have disbursed over N2.4 billion to thousands of beneficiaries,” he said.

He said the establishment of the foundation was to tap from its wide usefulness.

“The idea to float an entity that would revive the most neglected pillar of Islam informed the birth of Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation, otherwise known as ZSF in the year 2000

“We are out to bridge the gap between the rich and poor and re-awaken the spirit of social responsibility among Muslims. We want to return Zakat to it right position in Islam by creating a credible channel of distribution of Zakat,” he said.

According to Olagunju, Zakat, if properly managed, would ensure even distribution of wealth for empowerment of the less privileged.

“We have revived the culture of Zakat assessment, collection and distribution as well as providing a credible and a responsive platform for Muslims willing and desirous of fulfilling their religious obligation of payment of Zakat, the third pillar of Islam.

Our primary objective is to provide humanitarian and welfare services to mankind and Muslims in particular,” he said.

By Tajudeen Adebanjo (The Nation Newspaper –

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