NAZAS Fetes over 1,000 Less-privileged Persons

  • Appoints new directors

Abimbola Akosile

Humanitarian organisation, NASFAT Agency for Zakat and Sadaqat (NAZAS) recently empowered more than 1,000 less-privileged persons at its office in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos State.

NAZAS, a non-governmental organisation founded to care for the downtrodden in the society embarked on feeding and clothing the less privileged beneficiaries with enough food, drinks and clothing materials donated by kind-hearted Nigerians, during its quarterly programme; in an aim to bring succour to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Worried by the poor welfare, widespread and hunger in Nigeria as well as lower Gross National Product (GNP) per capita and declining purchasing power and increasing income inequality, the group organised a Feeding and Clothing Day, to keep the hope of the destitute alive.

The event at Alausa Secretariat was highly impactful, where over 1,000 pieces of clothing, shoes and other household materials were distributed to the indigent members of the community irrespective of religion. There was also distribution of over 500 food packs and soft drinks to not less than 500 indigent persons among members and non-members of NASFAT including the Hausa community.

One of the beneficiaries, Sikirat Sulaimon, while speaking with THISDAY, expressed her appreciation and urged all charity-based organisations to embrace the same practice to keep the hope of the needy alive.

Another beneficiary who sought anonymity described the exercise as exceptional and implored the organisers to take the Feeding and Clothing Day to all indigent communities. The programme was witnessed by dignitaries among members of NASFAT mission board, National Council of Elders and members of the National Executive Council.

The activity was achieved through the concept of Nazas Charity Drop Box, which was conspicuously designed to accept new and fairly-used clothes, shoes and other household items from the public. NAZAS later sorted the items and repackaged them with food and drinks for distribution at the programme.

Chairman of the NAZAS Technical Committee, Dr. Daud Oniyide, expressed his pleasure at the success of the programme and appreciated the philanthropists who donated their clothing, shoes, food and cash through the drop box and other means. He however implored those yet to support the organisation to do so for more lives to be touched.

According to the General manager; Mr. Sulaimon Akanni, given the magnitude, and dynamics of poverty in Nigeria, NAZAS has intervened by providing support for the less privileged and indigents through provision of funds to establish basic welfare elements such as accommodation, payment of hospital bills, purchase of drugs, free health diagnosis, and general medical support.

“We also provide financial support to widows for payment of school fees of their children and to boost their trade. All these would not have been possible without the partnership of well-meaning Nigerians and dutiful Muslims who paid their Zakat and gave Sadaqat through NAZAS”, Akanni added.

He further explained that the Agency commenced operations in March 2014 and has since collected over N133 million and impacted on 508 beneficiaries across health, education, empowerment, welfare categories.

Akanni urged the Muslim community to take advantage of the coming Ramadan to pay 2.5 per cent of their wealth (earnings) equal or greater than NISAB (net profit) as Zakat, a fixed and obligatory charity, which is compulsory on all Muslims who have the financial ability to do so, and give Sadaqat/Waqf, an optional and discretionary charity at the pleasure of the donor without any limit through the agency.

In a related development, the Board of Directors of NAZAS led by Alhaji Niyi Yusuf has approved the appointment of new directors comprising Mr. Hafiz Bakare and Mrs. Sherifah Abiola Andu as Directors, with the aim of strengthening the agency as it advances the implementation of its corporate strategy.

Bakare, the immediate past Managing Director/CEO of Keystone Bank Limited (KBL), led the seamless post-divestment transition of the bank in 2017, ensuring stability and sustaining stakeholders’ confidence, ultimately putting KBL on a turnaround path during the crucial initial phase of its return to private ownership after full divestment by the government-owned Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

Andu, the CEO of Arabel, an Islamic trading outfit in Nigeria, is an accomplished banker with a career spanning many years in the banking industry. A versatile administrator, she is a prolific author with many publications to her credit, and was the first vice president of University of Lagos Muslim Alumni.