By Emma Ujah
Jaiz Bank Plc, in a bid to ease pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia for muslims, has launched the National Hajj Savings Scheme (HSS) in the North East and South East zones of the country.
The bank is collaborating with the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards of the respective regions.
The ongoing launch and sensitization of HSS have already been flagged off in parts of the North Central, North West, South-West and South-South, according to the bank’s spokesman, Mr. Idris Ahmed, yesterday.
Speaking at the occasions, Jaiz Bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Hassan Usman, represented by the bank’s Divisional Head, Corporate Services, Ismaila Adamu, said the National Hajj Savings Scheme is a significant milestone for all stakeholders in the hajj ecosystem in Nigeria.
He said the importance of the scheme emanated from the fact that right “from planning, funding to actual operations, the scheme has the potential to positively affect every act and actor in the process.
According to him, “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 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.”
Chairman of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Barr. Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, who earlier flagged off the launch in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State and was 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 privilege to save money overtime to go to hajj and also to earn profit on their savings.
He said: “You don’t have to sell your farmland to go to hajj as the scheme will make the hajj fare affordable.”
Chairman, Ebonyi State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Engr. Abbas, said the launch of HSS was significant as it will 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 is ready to work with NAHCON,” he said.
In his speech, the Chairman, Taraba State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Hamman Adama Tukur, assured NAHCON and all stakeholders that the state Pilgrims Welfare Board would do its best to ensure the success of the programme.