The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, on Monday launched the National Hajj Savings Scheme in Jos, the state capital.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the scheme is the initiative of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, in collaboration with the Jaiz Bank which allows intending pilgrims to make payments in installments before embarking on the spiritual journey.
Represented by the state Commissioner of Transport, Muhammad Muhammad, Governor Lalong described the scheme as an initiative that will encourage more Muslims to perform Hajj without going through the difficulty of securing funds.
According to him, his administration will continue to provide enabling environment for the state Muslim Pilgrims Board and stakeholders to play their roles effectively.
He said: “Without doubt, the scheme we are launching here today will enable both intending pilgrims and those who want to sponsor others to begin their preparations early by making commitments that are gradual and less stressful.”
Mr Muhammad noted that Governor Lalong felicitated with the Chairman National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Zikirullah Kunle- Hassan, his Commissioners, as well as Ja’iz Bank Plc for ”actualizing the very important component as enshrined in NAHCON’s establishment act”.
The NAHCON Chairman, who was represented by the commissions’ Director of Hajj Operations, Abdullahi Hardawa, stated that the scheme has the potential to provide subsidy to intending pilgrims.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary, Plateau State Pilgrims’ Board, Auwal Abdullahi, said: “It is a win-win situation for both the investors and initiators of the scheme.”
The Jaiz Bank Managing-Director, Hassan Usman, revealed that with the scheme in place, NAHCON and the State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards would now have the liquid funds required to effectively plan out hajj operations early.
According to him, such development will lead to securing better bargains for accommodation and other services for the intended pilgrims.