From Uche Usim, Abuja
In fulfilment of its pledge to make the Hajj pilgrimage seamless for eligible Muslims, Jaiz Bank PLC at the weekend in Lagos launched a savings scheme to realise that objective.
The Managing Director, Jaiz Bank Plc, Hassan Usman while unveiling the new product stated that commencing savings for Hajj was like starting the journey to Mecca for the spiritual exercise.
According to him, the National Hajj Savings Scheme remains a significant milestone for all stakeholders in the Hajj ecosystem in Nigeria.
“From planning, funding to actual operations, the scheme has the potential 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. Even those who may not live to witness the completion of their savings may by Allah’s infinite mercy receive the reward for Hajj because they are pilgrims by intention (niyyat) and action (amal) together.”
“As this Scheme grows over time, NAHCON and the various State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards can have the liquid funds required to effectively plan hajj operations early, thereby securing better bargain for accommodation and other services for their pilgrims. The scheme can also be the key to making them highly self-sustaining in the long run.”
“On our part as a Bank, we are committed to this journey and we are ready to support it with best-in-class technology infrastructure as well as safe investment management practice.” Hassan said.
Earlier in his remarks, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu urged the Muslims in the state to embrace the scheme in order to benefit in all forms.
The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, assured that the state government will ensure its success at all levels.
On his part, the Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Mr Zikirullah Kunle Hassan said that besides transforming the Hajj operations, the scheme will also help reduce cost of Hajj in the country.
He added that with the new scheme, intending pilgrims need not sell their assets or liquidate their capital to go for Hajj, rather they will be able to save gradually from their profits towards the journey.
The event attracted traditional rulers, Imams, Muslim associations and other intending piligrms.