‘How Jaiz Bank plans to make Hajj less burdensome’
As the debate over government sponsorship of Christians and Muslims for pilgrimages to Jerusalem and Mecca continues, the management of a non-interest financial institution, Jaiz Bank says it has an initiative to address issues pertaining to funding of the yearly event.
The Head, Corporate Communications, Halima Ishaq, said Jaiz Bank was coming up with a contributory system that would enable low income earners desirous of fulfilling the Islamic commandment to save towards hajj.
Ishaq dropped the hint when she led Idris Ahmed, a Director of Corporate Communications Department of the bank, to pay a condolence visit on The Guardian over Mathias Okwe’s death in Abuja. She said the bank decided to get involved by providing an alternative way that could reduced the pressure on government.
“The idea of this scheme is to simplify savings, which anybody can key into. We call it, first come, first served. It will not be a situation, whereby Hajj is closing tomorrow and somebody comes to pay today. It is no longer going to be like that.
“The advantage is that as you are saving, the money will be used for investment by the bank and profit will be shared. As it is growing, it is possible you might have reached the threshold, you go for Hajj.
“So, it means your savings keep increasing, unlike in the past when, if you give it to the Pilgrims Board, it remains constant, it is stuck. Three years down, it is the same amount that you deposited, that you get. Imagine that you have been able to save N300,000, in three months, you are not getting N300,000 alone, but N300,000 plus,” She said.
She said: “We started the launch with Kano on October 4, 2019. It was a very successful outing and radio, jingles, announcements and advertorials. We came up with fliers in Hausa and English. We shared them around and they are responding in Bauchi and Gombe.
“I think nationwide, the only axes that we have not gone to are Sokoto, Zamfara and Birnin-Kebbi. We are looking at first quarter of next year to cover those states and we have been partnering NATCOM and the State Pilgrims Board. We have gone to Kogi, Lagos, Ilorin, Kwara State, Bayelsa and Benin. We met with them in Abia and Abakaliki.”