James Emejo in Abuja
The Managing Director/Chief Executive, Jaiz Bank Plc, Mr. Hassan Usman has said the commencement of savings initiative for the hajj is a dream come true for Muslim pilgrims who desire to visit the Holy Land.
Speaking at the launch of the Hajj Savings Scheme in Lagos, Usman said the initiative represented a significant milestone for all stakeholders in the hajj ecosystem in the country.
He said beginning from the planning, funding to actual operations, the scheme had the potentials to positively affect every act and actor in the process.
He said: “With such a scheme in place, intending pilgrims that do not have the wherewithal can gradually plan and actualise 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.”
In a statement, Usman 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 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.”
Also, speaking at the launch, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu urged the Muslims in the state to embrace the scheme in order to benefit in all forms while his deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, described the scheme as a milestone adding that the government will ensure its success at all level.
However, Chairman/Chief Executive, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Zikirullah Kunle Hassan said beside transforming the Hajj operations, it will also help reduce cost of Hajj in the country.
He said with the new scheme, intending pilgrims need not to sale their assets or liquidate their capital to go for Hajj but rather they will be able to save small by small from their profits towards the journey.