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Sultan urges Muslims to embrace Hajj Savings Scheme

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Managing Director, Jaiz Bank, Hassan Usman (left); Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Zikrullah Hassan; Emir of Bichi, Nasiru Ado Bayero; Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje; his deputy, Nasiru Gawuna; and Executive Secretary, Kano Pilgrims Welfare Board, Abba Muhammad, during the unveiling of the Hajj Savings Scheme, in Kano…yesterday PHOTO: MURTALA ADEWALE

President General, Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has appealed to Muslims to embrace the Hajj Savings Scheme (HSS) to reinvigorate the exercise in the country.

The Sultan, who made the appeal yesterday while unveiling the new savings scheme introduced by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) in Kano State, pledged the sultanate’s support for the scheme.

Expressing confidence in the management of the scheme, the Sultan assured Muslims that hajj deposits under the new platform would be safe.

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Represented by the Emir of Bichi, Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero, the NSIA leader canvassed transparency and accountability in handling of the scheme to gain public confidence.

Chairman of NAHCON, Zikrullah Hassan, noted that the introduction of the scheme was in line with section 7(1) of the commission’s legal instrument, which recommended establishment of a hajj savings scheme.

Hassan said the scheme would transform the hajj system from manual to digital, create jobs, improve Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and enable ample opportunity to plan ahead.

His words: “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 (PAYG) system, is a dream come true.

“We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jaiz Bank as the financial manager to pilot the scheme. The new system is in line with global standard and we require stakeholders to key into the system and educate the general public on the benefits. When fully operational, the scheme will enable us to plan ahead and avoid late preparation.”

The Managing Director of Jaiz Bank Plc, Mr. Hassan Usman, said the non-interest commercial bank committed to support the new scheme to ease financial burden of Muslims who plan to go on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

He contended that the financial instrument would improve economic viability and reduce the cost of hajj fare in the country.

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