Murtala Adewale, Kano
President General, Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar yesterday appealed to Muslims faith to embrace the newly introduced Hajj Savings Scheme (HSS) to reinvigorate hajj exercise in the country.
The Sultan who made the appeal yesterday while unveiling the new saving scheme introduced by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) in Kano pledged the sultanate support of the scheme. Alhaji Sa’ad who expressed confidence on the management of the scheme assured Muslims that Hajj deposits under the new platform is credibly insured.
Represented by Emir of Bichi, Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero, the Eminence however canvassed for transparency and accountable in handling of the scheme to gain public confidence.
Chairman of Hajj Commission, Barr. Zikrullah Kunle Hassan reminded the introduction of the savings was in line with section 7 (1) of the commission’s legal instrument which recommended the establishment of hajj savings scheme.
Barr. Zikrullah cited the significant benefits of the savings model which he declared would transform the hajj system from manual to digital, job creation, improve Grows Domestic Products (GDP) and enabling ample opportunity to plan ahead.
“When we assumed the leadership of the commission, we promised to transform the Hajj practice in Nigeria with commitment to reduce high cost of fare. This is the beginning of the aspiration. The new savings scheme which we intend to operate concurrently with the pay as you go system, is a dream come true.
“We have sign an MoU with Jaiz Bank as financial manager to pilot the scheme. The new system is in line with global standard and we require stakeholders’ key into the system and to educate the general public on the benefits. When fully operational, the scheme will enable us to plan ahead and avoid late preparation.
“The scheme is opened to all intending pilgrims those with state or private tour operators. The new scheme will safe guide against fraud, offer subsidy in the future and generally improve hajj operations in Nigeria”, Barr. Zikrullah noted.
Managing director, Jaiz Bank Plc, Mr. Hassan Usman said the non-interest commercial bank committed to support the new scheme to ease the financial burden of Muslims who plans to perform pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
Mr Hassan contended that the financial instrument would improve economic viability and reduce the cost of hajj fare in the country.