The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has said the recently introduced Hajj Saving Scheme, HSS, is an opportunity for low-income-earners to perform pilgrimage without financial difficulty.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that NAHCON had recently introduced the scheme, which allows intending pilgrims to save money in a bank and pay for the Hajj exercise in instalment.
The programme would be launched in Kano on October 4.
Speaking on Sunday, at a press conference held at the state Pilgrims Welfare Board in Kano State, the Coordinator of the scheme, Dr Aliyu Tanko, noted that the initiative would also provide employment opportunities.
According to him, the scheme would enable every Muslim, rich or low-income-earner, the opportunity to go to Hajj without difficulty.
He also stated that intending pilgrims willing to perform the exercise through the HSS could go via tour operators.
According to him, they are included in the programme, adding that the operators must get the statutory allocation of seats given to them every year.
“You know, it is a standing order that 95 per cent of Hajj seats are allocated to NAHCON every year. Tour operators get 20% out of it.
“So, anybody willing to go to Hajj using the HSS but through the tour operators can do so. The scheme is easy and effective,” he said.
Mr Tanko added that the programme will help every Muslim, both rich and low-income-earner to go to Hajj with ease.
“It is economically effective as it will provide job opportunity and bring depositors out of poverty,” he said.
He explained that intending pilgrims could join the programme through the Internet, adding that the money would be saved at Ja’iz and UBA banks.
The coordinator assured the safety of the money, adding that the deposits are going to be utilised using an interest-free banking system.
Mr Tanko also stated that the Hajj commission would open registration offices in various local government areas in the country to ease the procedure.