The Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA), Shehu Abdulkadir, has commended the charity initiative of Pearl Cooperative Society, a women based finance organization.
Abdulkadir gave the commendation in Abuja on Thursday during a handover of Zakkat by the Cooperative to the #UpliftWomenNG campaign by The Brief Academy.
Zakkat is a Muslim doctrine that mandates all faithful to give %2.5 of their networth as charity if the person meets that standard.
Abdulkadir stressed that giving back to the society especially the less privileged is a feat worthy of emulation by all if poverty must be reduced, if not completely eradicated.
He likened the Pearl Cooperative Society to a similar women based cooperative in Malaysia which metamorphosed into a micro finance bank whose books runs into millions of dollars today.
He urged the women to develop a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) process of giving feedback to funders as this encourages accountability and responsibility.
“I’m optimistic that the pearl Cooperative will be a case study for AEA to replicate and see how we can have the funding of activities such as this, just like part of our strategy in the rural community where we not just only train indigents on businesses but give them starter parks to start their businesses.
“Our last outreach to the community with the Aisha Babangida Foundation, Better life for Rural Women we could see the success and we have a robust M&E process and so we advise that you have one because it will go a long way to giving a feedback to stakeholders including the funders.
“Idea of giving feedback is for funders to know what they have given, how far it has gone and will go a long way to encouraging credibility and also encouraging others to follow through,” he stressed.
The MD/CEO noted that the level of poverty across the nation, tasking all to do their bids towards eradicating poverty from the society.
Founder, Pearl Cooperative Society, Saidat Shonoike, while handing over the Zakkat funds to the #UpliftWomenNG campaign by The Brief Academy, explained that the women only Cooperative with over 200 members agreed to support women empowerment with part of its profit(Zakkat) to lift women out of poverty and also encourage them to give others too.
“The organization aligns with our values, given training on business management so we are giving out funds to people who can utilize it properly and end poverty within themselves and others.
“Pearl Cooperative Society has been existing since 2012 and we contribute money, invest and make profit. Part of the Zakkat is what we handover to the Brief Academy to empower other women in the north.
“We chose to support the Academy after following its activities and is satisfied with the training women receive on financial literacy. We believe that the little they have they can multiply it so that they too can pay Zakkat for others to benefit too,” she said.
“For us, paying Zakkat is part of spiritual worship through the wealth we generate and it is also a form of women empowering women.
“We make profit annually and we will continue to give Zakkat through Humanitarian based Non Governmental Organizations that aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) “end poverty, end hunger” and also gender inequality,” she added.
Founder, the Brief Academy Farida Yahya, while receiving the funds appreciated the support to uplift women
She assured of judicious use of the funds to ensure they maximize impact, though only 15 women out of the 100 trained women can benefit from the zakkat funds, she said the Academy continues to solicit support of Nigerians to lift more women out of poverty.