Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, in conjunction with the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), has launched Hajj Savings Scheme to enable underprivileged Muslims have the opportunity to observe hajj pilgrimage.
At the official launching ceremony in Ilorin, Kwara State, the NAHCON Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, said the commission was determined to support poor Muslims who are willing to observe hajj pilgrimage, the fifth pillar of Islam.
Alhaji Hassan, represented by the Federal Commissioner, North Central Zone of the NAHCON, Hajia Halimah Jibril, explained that the scheme was designed to make the pilgrimage easier and more affordable for subscribers.
He added that the hajj savings scheme, in collaboration with Jaiz Bank Plc, would avail Muslims the opportunity of saving gradually at their convenience over a period of time to facilitate their performance of hajj exercise.
According to the NAHCON chairman, the benefits of the scheme include profit sharing base on the savings they made, job creation as well as poverty alleviation and empowerment.
Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, who commended the state government and the Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board for their efforts towards hitch-free hajj exercises in the state at all times, called on Muslim clerics and relevant stakeholders to support the programme for the benefit of Muslims across the state.
He assured that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria would continue to align with the aspirations of the Muslim Ummah by exploiting cheaper means of performing hajj. He also advised the public to support the government to flatten the curve of COVID-19 pandemic.
Secretary to the Kwara State Government, Professor Mammah Saba Jibril, described the scheme as a welcome development, saying that when properly managed, it would not only increase the number of yearly Muslim pilgrims, but also ensure their participation in hajj exercise with relative ease.
Professor Mamman represented by the Permanent Secretary, Political Cabinet and Special Services, M Sabitiyu Kikelomo Grillo, thanked the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria for introducing the scheme, especially at the time the country is confronted by economic challenges following the outbreak of COVID-19 ravaging the world.
Also, the Grand Khadi, Kwara State Sharia Court of Appeal, Justice Ola Muhammed, represented by Justice Abdullateef Kamaldeen, charged Muslims to know their responsibility towards hajj exercise and be law-abiding at all times.
Justice Ola Muhammed, who also enjoined Muslim faithful across the country to take precautionary measures against COVID-19 pandemic as they strive to embark on this year’s journey to the Holy Land, praised NAHCON under the leadership of Alhaji Hassan for taking bold steps to make hajj exercise hitch-free.
In a remark, the Executive Secretary, Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Tunde Jimoh Mohammed, explained that the Hajj Savings Scheme would allow low income earners, such as civil servants and petty traders, to partake in hajj pilgrimage with ease through their savings.
Alhaji Tunde Mohammed, however, allayed the fear of prospective subscribers on the safety of their savings, saying that there were concrete arrangements to ensure that their money would be safe with Jaiz Bank and advised all Muslims to key into the scheme.
The programme, which featured presentations from representatives of Jaiz Bank Plc, Dr Tanko Jibril and Mr Ismail Adam on the Hajj Savings Scheme, as well as questions and answers session, had dignitaries in attendance, including the Special Assistant to the Governor on Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Ibrahim Danmaigoro and the Chairman, Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Dr AbdulKadir Sambo Sambaki.