ZAKAT MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIA: THE STATUS QUO
MUSTAFA, Murtala Oladimeji .Abioye Ph.D.
University of Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria, and
Siti Normala Sheikh Obid Ph.D.
International Islamic University Malaysia
Over a decade ago, states that adopted Shariah legal system, in the northern part of Nigeria as well as non-governmental organizations in the southern western part re-introduced institutionalized zakat management but only fragmented knowledge of status of this initiative is available despite increasing calls for large scale studies by past researchers. Considering the position of Nigeria as the 6th Muslim majority country of the world and the incidence of poverty in the country, existence of an effective zakat management is imperative. The amount of public fund that goes into the new zakat institutions also justifies study that provides necessary visibility about their activities. Accordingly, this paper reports the findings from the exploratory phase of a large scale research on zakat management covering the federal capital territory and 15states of Nigeria. To achieve the major aim of describing the modes of zakat management in the country, the methodology counts on field interview, written documents and internet resources. From the study, it is evident that a nationwide zakat institution may not be suitable for Nigeria, a supervisory body will be necessary for uniformity in operation, Fatwa committee should be constituted to address technical issues and government should consider granting of tax relief to zakat payers. Given the scope and objective of the current study, it should constitute a significant contribution to zakat management literature and also serve as guide to future researchers Keywords: Zakat management, Fatwa Committee, Tax Relief, Exploratory Phase
It has long been acknowledged that Zakat institutions across the globe can benefit immensely if information on zakat management among Muslim countries can be effectively shared. There has been increased involvement of government and non-governmental agencies in the establishment of zakat institutions across Muslim and non-Muslim countries. Countries with institutionalized zakat management organs include Saudi Arabia ,Pakistan, Libya, Sudan, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Indonesia, Jordan, Bahrain, Yemen, Malaysia, Brunei, Qatar, south Africa, Canada, and Nigeria . Despite the increasing efforts towards formal zakat institutions in respective countries, there is limited study on the activities of these institutions.
Early studies on zakat management in selected countries includes (al-Khui, 1986; Azharuddin, 1988; Imtiazi, 1989; Abdullah, 1991;Mustapha, 1995; Faridi, 1995; Al-Ajeed, 1995; Balogun, 1999; Kafh, 2000 ). Azharuddin, (1988) studied the role of Zakat in modern economy, using Bangladesh as a case of study while Al- Khui (1986) reviewed Libyan Act No 89 of 1971 which related to zakat management in that country. Mustapha (1987) and Ghazali (1991) discussed administration of zakat in Malaysia whereas al-Ajeel (1995) and Mohammed (1995) respectively studied operations of zakat in both Kuwait and Sudan. Kafh (2000) studied zakat management in Pakistan, Kuwait, Jordan and Egypt while Balogun (1999) evaluated zakat collection and distribution in Nigeria. Unlike other studies, the study by Balogun (1999) on zakat collection and distribution in Nigeria was conducted before the revival of formal zakat institution in 1999. Hence, it did not cover the operation of the newly established institutions. Formal zakat management in Nigeria commenced with the declaration of Islamic legal system in Zamfara State. Other states in the northern part of Nigeria embraced this initiative while a number of nongovernmental organizations also embarked on collection and distribution of zakat in the southwestern part of the country. Zakat management experience in Nigeria has lasted for over a decade yet the incidence of poverty is on the...