Bauchi state Governor, Bala Mohammed has on Thursday launched the North East Hajj Savings Scheme that will cover the entire region.
The scheme which was initiated by the Bauchi state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board in collaboration with the National Hajj Commission and Ja’iz Bank PLC will enable intending Pilgrims to save some amounts in preparation for hajj exercise.
The Governor while launching the scheme at the Bauchi state hajj camp, said that the scheme will no doubt, help in improving the saving culture of the people with a view to actualizing their dreams of performing hajj exercises.
“I am highly delighted to launch the hajj saving scheme for the Northeast states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Yobe, Taraba as well as Plateau”, the Governor said.
Bala who thanked the National Hajj Commission for finding him and Bauchi state worthy for the launching of the scheme advised Ja’iz Bank to ensure that the confidence reposed in them by the hajj commission is justified.
The Governor said he has been reliably informed that the hajj savings scheme was a concept introduced in Malaysia purposely to provide an affordable hajj scheme through a robust financial administration and management.
He said that the adoption of the scheme in Nigeria will assist citizens across the social strata to save money over a period of time to enable them to perform the hajj exercise.
“At the moment, the Nigerian pilgrim is expected to pay not less than N1.5m to perform the hajj. As a result of global economic meltdown which is further aggravated by COVID-19 pandemic, it is becoming difficult for the common man to perform the exercise”, the Governor said.
In his keynote address, the Chairman and CEO of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alh. Zikrullah Olakunle Hassan applauded Governor Bala Mohammed for constructing a befitting hajj camp in the state.
Olakunle Hassan who said as the launch of the hajj saving scheme in the Northeast Geopolitical zone is taking place in Bauchi, the same has been done in Kano for the Northwest, Lagos for Southwest Benin for south-south, and Ebonyi for Southeast.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of the commission in Bauchi, Alh. Abubakar Babangida expressed gratitude to Governor Bala Mohammed for the timely construction of the hajj camp in the state, describing it as an edifice with no equal in the whole country.
He also thanked the Governor for continually giving his commission 100 Percent moral and financial support towards ensuring the welfare of Pilgrims in the state.
The Managing Director of Ja’iz Bank, Dr. Hassan Usman said that the scheme will create the opportunity for intending Pilgrims who do not have the financial wherewithal to save for future exercise.
According to him, the bank under his management will make it easier and simple for intending Pilgrims to save gradually to enable them to take part in the pilgrimage without necessarily selling off their belongings.