Assembly members To Pass Law Criminalising Street Begging: Speaker

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Assembly members To Pass Law Criminalising Street Begging: Speaker

The Lagos State House of Assembly is planning to pass a law that will criminalize street begging, according to the Speaker, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa. He emphasized the necessity of this regulation due to the increasing number of beggars in Lagos.

 

Speaking at the launch of the Ibile Muslim Community Zakat and Sadaqah Foundation in Lagos, Obasa highlighted the need for legislation to manage alms begging in the state. The foundation, supported by Lotus Bank, aims to assist underprivileged Muslims and alleviate poverty through the promotion of Zakat, Sadaqah, and Waqf.

 

Obasa explained that the proposed law would enable the state government and organizations like the Ibile Muslim Community Zakat and Sadaqah Foundation to regulate the solicitation of aid. The goal is to ensure that donations reach those in need without them having to beg on the streets. He stated, “We are looking at how we can manage such situations to stop beggars from parading the streets of Lagos begging for alms.”

 

He added that the legislation would impose sanctions on individuals caught begging or aiding beggars, especially children. Speaking on the foundation’s launch, Obasa underscored the importance of Zakat in eradicating poverty and benefiting both donors and recipients. He encouraged those blessed with resources to assist the less privileged, starting with their immediate families and extending to the broader community, to promote equality and comfort for all.

 

Sheikh Sulayman Nolla, chairman of the board of trustees for the Ibile Muslim Community Zakat and Sadaqah Foundation and grand chief imam of Lagos, emphasized the foundation’s mission to unify Muslims in Lagos and bridge the gap between the rich and the poor through resource pooling. Kafilat Araoye, managing director of Lotus Bank, noted the bank’s financial, technical, and administrative support for the foundation, ensuring adherence to Sharia and Islamic finance principles. Araoye stressed the importance of finding permanent solutions to poverty rather than relying on temporary measures, considering the current economic challenges in the country.

 

Zakat, the third pillar of Islam, requires eligible Muslims to donate a portion of their wealth annually to aid the poor, typically 2.5% of their total savings and wealth above a minimum amount, or “nisab,” each lunar year. Sadaqah refers to voluntary charitable acts, while Waqf is an Islamic endowment of property for charitable or religious purposes.


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