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A Hajj Savings Scheme (HSS) Strategic Review and Planning Meeting was organized by NAHCON. Held Wednesday, 9th June in Abuja, the meeting was conducted as a medium for stock taking and to work out further lines of action towards achieving greater success.

Panel of reviewers comprised National Hajj Commission of Nigeria’s (NAHCON) delegation led by its Chairman Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan; the Ja’iz Bank’s group headed by its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mallam Hassan Usman; representatives from the CBN, representative from the academia in person of Prof. Binta Jibrin of BUK’s International Institute for Islamic Banking and Finance, representatives from Ministry of Finance, bankers and a pioneer advocate of the HSS in Nigeria in person of Alhaji Bashir Bugaje.

Among the issues discussed was, ‘strategic initiatives, policies and partnerships required to grow the HSS in Nigeria, considering its socio-economic and peculiar situation’. Another topic was ‘a comparative analysis of operating Hajj Savings Scheme by a licensed Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) or a shari’ah compliant bank’.

NAHCON’s HSS coordinator Dr. Aliyu Tanko reviewed status of the scheme from inception to date. He informed the gathering that so far, three state governments, namely Kano Jigawa and Kaduna states have equipped their HSS offices with BVN capturing machines, laptops, scanners and printers among others for seamless registration of interested Muslims.

In his opening remarks, Alhaji Kunle Hassan informed how Hajj missions of several countries had called to congratulate Nigeria after the successful launching of the scheme in October of 2020. His major concern presently, he informed, is how to get the best out of the HSS plan. The NAHCON chairman showed satisfaction at the pace in which registration into the scheme is moving following expert analysis.

The M.D of Ja’iz Bank in his submission reemphasised that the bank remains committed to the success of the scheme by words, action and infrastructure. He revealed numerous windows of investment through which the pilgrims’ funds will be grown. Mallam Usman described the HSS as an inevitable journey they have entered doggedly and patiently while reiterating that the bank had made sacrifices for the success of the Hajj plan.

There were hints that staff and individuals may start receiving bonuses for substantive number of pilgrims registered by them, as deposit into the scheme grows stronger.

Fatima Sanda Usara,

Head, Public Affairs,