Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board in conjunction with the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has launched Hajj Savings Scheme in the state to enable the less privileged Muslims have opportunity to observe hajj pilgrimage.

At the official launching ceremony in Ilorin, Kwara State, the NAHCON Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan noted that the commission is determined to support poor Muslims who are willing to observe Hajj Pilgrimage, the fifth pillar of Islam.

Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, represented by the Federal Commissioner, North Central Zone of the NAHCON, Hajia Halimah Jibril, explained that the scheme was designed to make hajj pilgrimage easy and affordable for subscribers.

He noted that the Hajj savings scheme which is in collaboration with Jaiz Bank Plc would avail Muslims the opportunity of saving gradually at their convenience over a period of time to facilitate their performance of Hajj exercise as a pillar of Islam.

According to the NAHCON Chairman, the benefits of the scheme include profit sharing base on the savings they made, job creation as well as poverty alleviation and empowerment.

Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, who commended the Kwara State Government and the Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board for their efforts towards hitch free hajj exercise in the state at all times, called on Muslim clerics and relevant stakeholders to support the programme for the benefit of Muslims across the state.

He assured that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria would continue to align with the aspirations of the Muslim Ummah by exploiting cheaper means of performing hajj, advising the public to support government to flatten the curve of COVID-19 pandemic.

In an address, Secretary to the Kwara State Government, Professor Mammah Saba Jibril described the scheme as a welcome development, saying that when properly managed, it would not only increase the number of yearly Muslim pilgrims but also ensure their participation in hajj exercise with relative ease.

Professor Mamman represented by the Permanent Secretary, Political Cabinet and Special Services, Barrister Sabitiyu Kikelomo Grillo thanked the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria for introducing the scheme, especially at the time the country is confronted by economic challenges occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19 ravaging the world.

Also, the Grand Khadi, Kwara State Sharia Court of Appeal, Justice Ola Muhammed represented by Justice Abdullateef Kamaldeen, charged Muslims to know their responsibility towards hajj exercise and be law abiding at all times.

Justice Ola Muhammed, who also enjoined Muslim faithful across the country to take precautionary measures against COVID-19 pandemic as they strive to embark on this year’s journey to the Holy Land, praised NAHCON under the leadership of Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan for taking bold steps to make hitch free hajj exercise.

In a remark, the Executive Secretary, Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Tunde Jimoh Mohammed, explained that the Hajj Savings Scheme would allow low income earner such as civil servants and petty traders to partake in hajj pilgrimage with ease through their savings over the period of time.

Alhaji Tunde Mohammed however allay the fear of prospective subscribers on the safety of their savings, saying that there were concrete arrangements to ensure that their money is safe with Jaiz Bank and advised all Muslims to key into the scheme.

The programme which featured presentations from representatives of Jaiz Bank Plc, Dr Tanko Jibril and Mr Ismail Adam on the Hajj Savings Scheme as well as questions and answers session, had dignitaries in attendance including the Special Assistant to the Governor on Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Ibrahim Danmaigoro and the Chairman, Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Dr AbdulKadir Sambo Sambaki.