Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Alhaji Zhikrullah Hassan has said that the Hajj Savings Scheme, HSS, introduced recently by the new board under his leadership, would address the issue of poverty inequality in the country.
Speaking the launch of HSS in Lagos, Hassan informed that “operationalisation of the scheme is a historic milestone in our long walk towards self-financing that will wean us from depending on the scarce government resources which can be utilized for provision of infrastructure and other social services in the country.”
“At the core of the scheme is a developmental approach that seeks to liberalize payment, build value chains and overcome the infrastructure deficit,” he explained, assuring that NAHCON “will leverage on these opportunities.”
Hassan further affirmed that the HSS would protect intending pilgrims against potential fraudsters, provide reliable and accurate data for effective and efficient service delivery, enhance advance planning for accommodation, feeding and airlift operation, strengthen the economic capacity of contributors, and offers subsidy and a great opportunity to reduce the cost of Hajj.
He listed other benefits as job creation through pockets of portfolio investment, aligned the country’s Hajj system to global standard, boost the country’s growth domestic product, GDP and providing economic power to the citizens while intending pilgrims would no longer need to sell off or dispose their properties or life savings to fulfill their religious obligation to the holy land.
The chairman therefore appealed to all the stakeholders that the emerging success requires all the government, traditional and religious leaders, Muslim activists, public commentators and the media to assist in enlightening the Muslim community on the need to embrace the scheme to enjoy the enormous accruable benefits therefrom.
Hassan informed that the launch of the HSS in partnership with the Jaiz Bank Plc, was in fulfilment of his pledge to make Hajj affordable, clarifying that “the new system will operate concurrently with what we have known as ‘Pay As You Go’ at transitional period.”
He, however, added that “the payments made by 2020 intending pilgrims will remain with state pilgrims welfare boards and they will be given priority.”
It would be recalled that the official launch of HSS, first in Africa, was kicked off on October 4, 2020 in Kano and NAHCON has since then been carrying out sensitisation programme on the scheme across the country.
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