The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), on Thursday, September 19, signed an agreement with the Jaiz Bank Plc, for a Hajj Savings Scheme in the country.
NAHCON Executive Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullahi Hassan, said this while signing the agreement designed to fast-track the implementation of the scheme.
Hassan explained that the scheme was enshrined in the NAHCON Establishment Act, 2006 as a contributory payment scheme for prospective Muslim faithful wishing to undertake Holy Pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
He said that the agreement was a step towards securing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s license for the operation of the scheme as a full-fledged model.
Hassan said that the scheme was expected to boost economic growth, entrench a culture of savings among low-income groups, and lift people out of poverty.
He said every Muslim faithful, who intended to perform the Hajj could be enrolled in the scheme through the Pilgrims’ Welfare Board in all the 36 states; agencies; as well as commissions or NAHCON offices across the country.
“Enrolment can also be done directly from the comfort of the room by logging into the dedicated site of the scheme.
“Subscribers can also deposit at their convenience; and the amount they want to contribute over a specific period also to be determined by them.
“Deposits made will be invested in low-risk Sharia-compliant products which will be monitored by the commission; and profit share among stakeholders.
“In line with the provision of NAHCON ACT, 2006 and in consultation with the board; we shall in due course constitute a Board of Trustees to be submitted to the government,’’ Hassan said.
Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF); advised the Muslim faithful to imbibe the saving culture and long-term planning; in order to key into the Hajj family.
Represented by Mr Olusegun Adekunle, Permanent Secretary, General Service, Office of the SGF; Mustapha urged the board and management of NAHCON to secure the license from the CBN; in order to deploy the full-fledged scheme under a Special Purpose Vehicle.
He noted that promoting national cohesion and social inclusion was one of the core principles upon which the present administration’s Economic Growth Recovery Plan (ERGP) was built.
The SGF said that the government encourages programmes that have a positive socio-economic impact on Nigerians; and that the Hajj savings scheme was one of such.