The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, (NAHCON), has assured intending pilgrims of safety of their contributions in the newly introduced Hajj Savings scheme, which he said was designed to ease preparation towards Hajj operations.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Office of NAHCON, Barr. Olakunle Hassan Zikirullah stated this during a stakeholders meeting in Lokoja to create awareness on the newly introduced Hajj Savings Scheme by NAHCON.
According to the chairman who was represented by Imam Ahmad Saad said, NAHCON will partner with Jaiz Bank in the management of the scheme, saying that when the scheme becomes fully operational, all the problems associated with payment and preparation would have been addressed.
The chairman commended Kogi Hajj Commission for being proactive in the handling of Hajj operations over the years, saying that the commission has made Hajj operations for pilgrims in the state stress free.
According to the chairman, the Kogi Hajj Commission has always keyed into the activities of NAHCON, adding that the commission’s prompt response to call a stakeholders meeting to create awareness on the Hajj Savings Scheme was one of such proactive steps of Kogi Hajj Commission.
While assuring the Muslim Umah that the scheme would be the best for intending pilgrims, the chairman said that this is not a ploy to hijack the functions of Hajj Commissions, adding that the Hajj Commissions of each state are part and parcels of the scheme.
In his opening remarks, the Executive chairman of Kogi state Hajj Commission, Sheikh Luqman Imam Abdullahi stressed that the main objective of the Hajj Savings Scheme is to make preparation for Hajj, easy, comfortable and stress free for intending pilgrims who cannot afford to pay hajj seat at a go.
According to him, NAHCON Establishment ACT of 2006, empowered the commission to establish, supervise and regulate a Hajj Savings Scheme to be operated by the pilgrims welfare board of each state and the Federal Capital Territory for interested pilgrims.
He commended NAHCON Chairman/CEO Barr. Olakunle Hassan Zikirullah and his team for their foresight, selfless commitment and determination to ensure a hitchfree Hajj operation.
He noted that on assumption of office, the chairman re-negotiated Hajj fare components for the 2020 Hajj downwards, saying that this was a positive surprise to Hajj stakeholders, but however lamented that COVID-19 pandemic led to Hajj restriction for the year.
He said in addition to the establishment of Hajj Savings Scheme to easy the burden of Hajj payment for intending pilgrims, he said the chairman and his team are also working on Makka Route initiative, a policy that will enable Saudi immigration officials to come to Nigeria designated departure centers to screen pilgrims to avoid the long wait in Jeddah and Medina Airports.
According to the Executive chairman, the NAHCON CEO’s friendly disposition to states pilgrims boards and Commissions is Worthy of commendation and called on the Muslim Umah to remember him and his team in their prayers.
“In conclusion, let me remind our stakeholders that we have plenty of Hajj seats available, the earlier you come forward to pay for Hajj, the better. He stressed.