By Maryam Garba Haasan
More state governors have embraced the Hajj Savings Scheme introduced by the National Hajj Commision of Nigeria, NAHCON, for its econometrical attraction.
This was contained in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the National Hajj Commision of Nigeria’s Head, Public Affairs, Fatima Sanda Usara.
The statement said the North East launching of the scheme took placeThursday in Bauchi.
According to the statement, the scheme which originated from Malaysia asTabung Haji, currently boasts of deposits to the tune of RM73.86 billion as at June 2020 and with the year’s profit after Zakat standing at RM1.55 billion despite Covid-19 pandemic.
The statement said , It is believed that the Nigerian version holds even greater prospects.
‘ If Malaysia with only about 30,000 Hajj slots allocation is able to reap RM1.55 billion yields after investment, Nigeria with 95,000 is projected to triple its returns by the time more intending pilgrims subscribe to scheme”.
It said the major logic behind the HSS is that instead of pilgrims making deposits into separate state welfare board accounts without yields, the option provides that all Hajj deposits will be made into one single account with the Ja’iz bank as the broker.
It said the cumulative strength of the funds will attract bigger profit after investment wherefrom the pilgrim reaps gains for his contribution in addition to a secured Hajj slot.
“The state receives its own share from the investment as managers of its pilgrims’ affairs, NAHCON is allocated its administrative levies and the Bank receives its commission as the fund’s managers in halal investment spheres”.
Explaining further, the statement said it becomes a win-win situation for all partakers in the project instead of the present situation where intending pilgrims receive nothing in return for their Hajj deposits no matter how long it stays in the state boards’ or NAHCON’s CBN coffers.
A long term plus for this scheme is that with higher turnovers in due course, the profits will be used to subsidize Hajj fare for subscribers thereby maintaining a cheaper and consistent fare as is obtained in countries where the scheme is stably functional.
In his remarks at the launching of HSS in Bauchi, the state governor, Sen Bala Muhammad and chief launcher charged management of NAHCON and Ja’iz bank as custodians of the pilgrims’ deposits to manage the pilgrims’ wealth with the fear of God.
He affirmed that the two stakeholders will go through integrity test in time to come but he has no fear that they will excel, the statement added.
He is convinced that the scheme has the potential benefit of being a financial reserve that will serve the society through social safety nets and other financial ventures.
In his opening remarks during the launching, Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, Chairman of NAHCON commended the Bauchi state governor for his behind the scenes contribution to Hajj industry in Nigeria.
Describing the governor as the people’s governor, he thanked him for his support towards the commission’s enthusiasm and aspiration of transforming the Hajj industry into a vibrant, active organization with investment channels and job creation platforms that will align Nigeria with other Hajj systems across the globe.