It was jubilation galore and harvest of praises for Imam Abdullahi Shuaib, the pioneering Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation at a reception held in his honour by the foundation on Thursday in Lagos.
At the reception, held at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Alausa-Ikeja, notable speakers took turns to eulogise the Islamic spirited and doggedness of Imam Abdullahi for chosen to serve humanity in so many ways from his infancy.
The Chairman of the foundation, Dr Tajudeen Yusuf, described Abdullahi as a personified tiredless working machine who has been striving in the course of Islam right from his infancy.
Citing several portions from the Holy Qur’an, Tajudeen spoke about the importance of the institution of zakat as a main bloc upholding Islam.
“Zakat managers, who dissipate their utmost energy in the collection and distribution of zakat, Allah says they should have a portion of the collections.
“Allah did this by showing gratitude to the zakat workers.
“Therefore, this gathering here today is to acknowledge and appreciate the good works of our Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation pioneering Chief Executive Officer, Imam Abdullahi Shuaib.
“We are doing this after a dip reflection on where we were coming from to the present level.
“Imam Abdullahi Shuaib and his team took this foundation project from zero to this enviable level.
“We are also sending signals to other workers that hard work pays and that we are taking cognisance their respective commitments,’’ Tajudeen said.
Also speaking, Ambassador Adamu Babangida Aliyu, the Director-General of the Jaiz Charity Development Foundation, said Abdullah was a golden fish, who had nowhere to hide from proplr or group that needed his untiring service.
Adamu, who represented the Chairman, Board of Director Jaiz Bank Plc., Dr. Umaru AbdulMutallab, said the board of Jaiz saw and recognised the starling efforts of Imam Abdullahi on Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation.
“Thus we believe he is capable of repeating the same fit of helping to nurture the new Jaiz Zakat and Waqas Fund to also become a big organisation like Z & S foundation.
“Jaiz Z & W has been collaborating with Z & S foundation and a lot more collaborations are being planned together for the welfare of Muslims in Nigeria and across the world.
Prof. Tajudeen Gbadamosi, who is the Chairman of the Lagos State Muslim Community, reflected on the difficulties associated with collection of zakat in the past.
“Many years back, it was difficult to organise zakat programmes in Nigeria.
“Imams in various mosques would not allow it to happen because they feel threatened their means of sustenance would be hijacked.
“But we have to all work together to strengthen the institution of zakat that is the strong instrument to fight poverty and improve the welfare of the downtrodden members of the Muslim communities.
“We need to pull our resources together to develop the Muslim community,’’ Gbadamosi, a retired professor of History from University of Lagos said.
He, therefore, appealed distinguished personalities in the Muslim communities to lend their expertise to the course of zakat institution through which the ummah could be raised to higher pedestal.
The Renaissance reports that the Z & S Foundation, which was founded in February, 2008, is a faith-based economic empowerment organisation established by The Muslim Congress (TMC)
Imam Abdullahi pioneered the foundation from its infancy, repositioned it and nurtured it to an enviable status as an Islamic Faith-Based Organisation, serving the cause of humanity without any discrimination to adherents of any faith in Nigeria.
The foundation has a commulative growth rate of over 566.64 per cent zakat collectables as at the time Abdullahi exited.
Presenting the score card of the foundation, the current Executive Director and CEO of the Z & S, Prince Sulaiman Olagunju said the management has been able to increase the level of public awareness on the foundation through the print and electronic media, especially on the weekly programme on the Lagos State television (LTV).
He also said that the staff strength of the foundation had been increased from two to 10 while it has equally been giving institutional supports to some Islamic Organisations.
Similarly, the foundation had opened two new state offices in Osun and Edo states while its Head Office in Lagos had been proposed as a regional office for the Global Union on Zakat Rite (GUZR).
Olagunju said that Z & S foundation would also co-host the third Business Development Plan competition with the Jaiz Charity Development Foundation in 2017.
The CEO said that the foundation was proposing to spend N240 million on various zakat project in 2017.
According to him, these include: N50 million each proposed for economic empowerment, medical supports provision of water through drilling of boreholes.
N3o million is proposed for education support programme, N20 million for provision of public toilets and another N20 million for feeding of fasting Muslims during the 1438 Ramadan fast.
N15 million is proposed for rams to be given to Imams of various mosques during Eid Ul-Kabir while N5 million would be spent to collect and repackage different clothing materials for distribution to the needy.
Responding, Imam Abdullahi attributed all the successes he had achieved to favours from Allah Taála and the cooperation of all his staff at the Z & S Foundation.
He also eulogised Dr Umaru AbdulMuatallab, the Chairman of Jaiz foundation as a memtor who cnotributed immensely to efforts in nurturing the foundation to the present enviable position.