The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, in collaboration with the Jaiz Bank Plc., has launched the National Hajj Savings Scheme, NHS, in Adamawa, Taraba and Ebonyi states.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that NHS is an initiative aimed at enabling Nigerians that are low-income earners to conveniently save up enough money in order to go for Hajj pilgrimage.
The flag-off of the sensitization and awareness campaign was attended by the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board of the respective states as well as many Hajj and Umrah stakeholders in the three states.
Speaking at the occasions, Jaiz Bank’s Managing Director/CEO, Hassan Usman, who was represented by the Bank’s Divisional Head, Corporate Services, Ismaila Adamu, said the scheme is a significant milestone for all stakeholders in the Hajj ecosystem in the country.
According to him, right from planning, funding to actual operations, the scheme has the potentials to positively affect every act and actor in the process.
“With such a scheme in place, intending pilgrims that do not have the wherewithal can gradually plan and actualize their dream without stress by saving gradually,” he stressed.
“He said that even those who do not live long enough to complete their savings might still, in “Allah’s infinite mercy, receive the reward for Hajj because they are pilgrims by bringing intention (niyyat) and action (amal) together.”
In his part, the NAHCON Chairman, Zikrullah Kunle-Hassan, who earlier flagged off the launch in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State and represented in Taraba and Adamawa States, thanked the governments of the states for buying into the scheme.
He said HSS has several benefits amongst which is to assist the less-privileged Nigerians to save money over time to go to Hajj and also to earn a profit on their savings.
He said: “You don’t have to sell your farmland to go to hajj as the scheme will make hajj fare affordable.”
Chairman, Ebonyi State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Engr. Abbas, said the launch of HSS was significant as it would make it easier for Muslims to go to Hajj.
“You don’t have to sell your items to go to Hajj. Ebonyi has fully integrated into the scheme and ready to work with NAHCON,” he said.
In his speech, the Chairman, Taraba State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Hamman Adama-Tukur, assured NAHCON and all stakeholders that the Board would do its best to ensure the success of the program.
Taraba State governor, Darius Dickson, represented by the Commissioner of Science and Technology, Alhassan Hamman said hajj is an important pillars of Islam that every Muslim is expected to perform.
He said: “I, therefore, urge our Muslim faithful to use the opportunity to harness the benefit of the scheme.
“I call on the Muslim Ummah to also imbibe the saving culture and long-term planning to key into the Hajj family.
“I will like to remind you that this administration encourages programs that have positive socio-economic impact on Tarabans and the Hajj Savings Scheme is one of them.”
Speaking in Yola, the Executive Secretary, Adamawa State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Commission Sani Abubakar, said the agency would go to every nook and cranny to enlighten the public on the scheme.
Flagging off the scheme, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State, represented by the Secretary to State Government, Engr. Bashir Ahmad, urged Muslim Ummah to take advantage of the newly introduced scheme.
He expressed the State government’s determination to fully support the scheme to ensure its success.