By James Emejo and Folalumi Alaran
Jaiz Bank Plc has launched the National Hajj Savings Scheme in the North-east and South-eastern parts of the country.
The scheme seeks to make it easier for all Muslims in Nigeria to go to Saudi Arabia to perform one of the pillars of Islam, the Hajj.
Speaking during the launch, the bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Hassan Usman, described the initiative as a significant milestone for all stakeholders in the hajj ecosystem in the country.
Represented by the bank’s Divisional Head, Corporate Services, Ismaila Adamu, the MD said the importance of the scheme emanated from the fact that right “from planning, funding to actual operations, the scheme has 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.”
In a statement, Usman added 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.”
Jaiz Bank and the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) in collaboration with the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board of the respective regions had recently flagged off the sensitisation and awareness campaign for the programmein Adamawa, Taraba and Ebonyi States, respectively.
The ongoing launch and sensitisation of HSS had already been flagged off in parts of the Northcentral, Northwest, Southwest and Southsouth.
Chairman of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, who earlier flagged-off the launch in Abakaliki, Ebonyi, Taraba and Adamawa States, thanked the governments of the respective 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.
According to him: “You don’t have to sell your farmland to go to hajj as the scheme will make hajj fare affordable.”
Also, Chairman, Ebonyi State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, the launch of HSS was significant as it will make it easier for Muslims to go to Hajj.
“You dont have to sell your items to go to Hajj. Ebonyi has fully integrated into the scheme and ready to work with NAHCON,” he said.