Bauchi, Gombe and Plateau States have pledged their support towards the achievement of the newly introduced Hajj Savings Scheme by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria and Jaiz Bank Plc to ease the Hajj process for all Muslims in Nigeria.
Governors Bala Muhammed of Bauchi, Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe and Simon Lalong of Plateau endorsed the scheme at the launching and sensitisation exercise in their respective states during the week.
Bala, who launched the scheme in the state for the northeast said the new scheme will make it easier for intending pilgrims to perform Hajj in Saudi Arabia, saying funds realised through the scheme will be invested in halal products that will generate profits for the savers.
He urged all to subscribe to the scheme as it has the potential benefit of being a reserve to help grow the economy.
He said: “It would introduce a level of financial discipline, especially for people in the rural areas. I assure you of our unflinching support for the welfare of the pilgrims. I advise Jaiz Bank to judiciously use the funds. We have never doubted Jaiz Bank and they are making us proud.”
In Gombe, Governor Inuwa Yahaya, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Abubakar Njodi, said his administration will work with NAHCON and Jaiz Bank so that low-income earners in the state can reap the benefits of the scheme.
He described the scheme as an excellent move that will go a long way in actualising the dreams of individual Muslims who hope to perform one of the important pillars of Islam, the Hajj.
He called for a sustained sensitisation campaign at the grassroots to reach targeted groups.
Governor, Simon Lalong said the HSS is an initiative that will encourage more Muslims to perform Hajj without going through difficulties of securing funding adding that it will also promote discipline and teach intending pilgrims to be financially prudent.
He was represented by his Commissioner of Transport, Alhaji Mohammed Mohammed.
The Managing Director/CEO of Jaiz Bank Plc, Mallam Hassan Usman said as the 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.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria Barrister Zikirullah Kunle Hassan said the scheme is part of the reforms to make Hajj operations in tandem with the global best practice.
He said under the Hajj Saving Scheme, subscribers can get the reward for their intentions before actualising the journey, saying every Muslim can participate and will have the opportunity to perform the holy pilgrimage without having to sell off his or her assets.