By Lawal Sa’idu Funtua
The Katsina state government has expressed its commitment to partner with the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, to enable all low income intending pilgrims to reap the benefits of the Hajj savings scheme in the state.
Alhaji Mannir Yakubu, the state Deputy Governor stated this at a one day sensitization workshop on Hajj Savings Scheme held today in Katsina .
The state Deputy Governor stated that, the scheme offers intending pilgrims the choice and opportunity to save and plan for the Hajj in a stress free manner.
To this end, he said the state government, in line with NAHCON request has granted approval to the state pilgrims board to place the scheme under the supervision of the newly established Directorate of monitoring and evaluation to provide sound administrative structure for implementation.
Yakubu however advised the Commission and other stakeholders against rushing into the scheme to avoid cyber scammers who may take undue advantage to defraud innocent subscribers.
He also appealed to NAHCON to resuscitate it’s zonal office in Katsina or establish an outreach centre to synergize, promote efficient service delivery and enhance the welfare of pilgrims.
Alhaji Zikirullah Kunle Hassan, the Executive Chairman of NAHCON, in his address, said the initiative is being implemented in collaboration with Jaiz Bank Plc.
He explained that, the Hajj Savings Scheme is structured to assist workers, Farmers, traders and students to save gradually over a period of time to facilitate their traveling to Saudi Arabia to enable them fulfill the fifth pillar of Islam.
Alhaji Suleiman Nuhu Kuki, the Executive Director, Katsina State Pilgrims Welfare Board, earlier, said the sensitization workshop is a follow-up to the implementation of resolutions reached by all stakeholders in Abuja last year aimed at addressing all intricacies involved in the operations of the scheme.
Kuki maintained that, the scheme if properly implemented would address the issues of planning the Hajj, rising cost of Hajj fares, time frame of payments and economic empowerment of subscribers.
The board’s boss added that, to this end three registration centres have been designated in the interim at Katsina, Funtua and Daura in readiness for the take off of the Hajj Savings Scheme in the state.