The pilot scheme of the National Hajj Savings programme that would make it easier for intending muslim pilgrims to perform one of the five pillars of Islam, the Hajj, commenced yesterday in Kano State.
The scheme, which allows Muslims Ummah to prepare ahead of time, by making gradual deposits through Jaiz Bank plc, was formarly launched by His Eminence, The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad III.
Represented by the Emir of Bichi Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero, the Sultan charged NAHCON and Jaiz Bank to be transparent in the operation of the scheme.
He said the scheme will enable every muslims “perform the Hajj without depending on government. It will ensure proper planning and the funds realised will be invested in Shari’a compliant instruments.”
In his speech, the Managing Director of Jaiz Bank Hassan Usman said the National Hajj Savings Scheme is a significant milestone for all stakeholders inthe hajj ecosystem in Nigeria.
He said: “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.
“Even those who did not live long enough to complete their savings might still in Allah’s infinite mercy receive the reward for hajj, because they are pilgrims bybringing intention (niyyat) and action (amal) together.”
He said as this Scheme grows over time, NAHCON and the various State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards can have the liquid funds required to effectively plan hajjoperations 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,” Usman said.
The Chairman of NAHCON, Bar. Zikrullah Kunle Hassan described the event as historic because “this is one of its kind in the continent as we are changing the narrative of Hajj Scheme to make it eaasier for people to perform hajj.”
The Executive Governor of Kano State Dr Umaru Abdullahi Ganduje said the state government is fully in support of the scheme.