Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has promised to support the Hajj Saving Scheme being piloted by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to ensure smooth Hajj exercise in Nigeria
Gov. AbdulRazaq made the promise in Ilorin when he received the delegation of the commission led by its National Chairman/CEO, Zikrullah Hassan at the Government House.
The Governor informed NAHCON that the administration had fixed the state Hajj camp as part of COVID-19 campaign to support Sobi Specialist Hospital, saying the camp was in a sad and neglected situation before the government’s intervention.
“We quickly had to fix the Hajj camp as part of our COVID-19 centre. We have Sobi Specialist Hospital as the primary centre with 350 beds. But suddenly realised that we are not even filling it up, we are not using half of the capacity. So, we have not really had the need to use the Hajj camp.
“But when I visited the camp, it was in a sad situation because of neglect. Basic things like water and sanitation were not there. It was as if it was a cattle station. So, we have to fix it,” the governor explained.
Gov. AbdulRazaq said the proposed Hajj savings scheme would makes it possible for many Nigerians to participate in the Hajj exercise and allow national and sub-national governments to direct attention to other areas.
The governor noted that the state would look at the possibility of making use of the Hajj camp off season to keep the facility busy all year round in line with the programmes of the pilgrims’ board.
In his remarks, the National Chairman/CEO of NAHCON, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle appreciated the governor for renovating the Hajj camp and his assistance to the pilgrims from Kwara State through the Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board during the last Hajj exercise.
Alhaji Hassan added that the commission would find the necessary financial engineering strategy through the proposed Hajj Savings Scheme to make Hajj more affordable to Muslims.
“One of the aims of the new board is to make Hajj affordable and we don’t think this is going to be easy. But certainly we believe that with your guidance and many others like you, with Allah’s support, we’re determined to make Hajj affordable. This is because we know that Hajj is something that is much more loved by the poor.
“Yet Hajj cost is determined by the value of foreign exchange because the foreign exchange content of Hajj is higher that the local content. The flight is determined in dollars. The accommodation is determined in dollars and sundry of other costs.
“We know we must find the necessary financial engineering strategy to make it possible so that the cost of Hajj can remain affordable to the very poor who desire Hajj much more than the middle class or the rich people,” he added.