By Fatima Sanda Usara
A high powered mobilization push to canvass for registration into Hajj Savings scheme was today, 10th March 2021 held in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital. The mobilizers comprised top notch from the state government, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), State Pilgrims Welfare Boards (SPWB) Jaiz Bank, royal fathers, members of the Ulama., public organizations, revered individuals etc.
Leading the team at the launching/mobilization drive for Hajj Savings Scheme in Nasarawa State was the host as well as the Nasarawa state Governor, His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule. To add weight to the campaign was the Nasarawa state Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Agbadu Akabe; Ag. Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, Hon. Justice Aisha Bashir Aliyu; Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State, Barr. Muhammad Ubandoma Aliyu, Emir of Keffi Dr Shehu Cindo Yamusa who represented Emir of Lafia and chairman council of chiefs, Hon Justice Sidi Bage1. Team of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria was its Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, while Ja’iz Bank delegation was led by Acting Managing Director who is the bank’s Executive Director Operations/Chief Financial Officer, Alhaji Abdulfatah Amaoo, NAHCON’s Commissioner of Policy, Personnel Management and Finance, Alhaji Nura Hassan Yakasai and Hon. Abubakar Hassan Nalaraba, chairman House Committee on Pilgrims’ Affairs, representative of the Nasarawa House of Assembly speaker were also present.
Venue of the launching activity was the Nasarawa state Government House, Akwe Doma Banquet Hall, Lafia which witnessed the presence of other dignitaries such as, Andoma of Doma, Alhaji Ahmadu Aliyu Ogah, Sangarin Awe, Alhaji Isa Umar, the Sarkin Azara, Dr. Kabiru Muhammad, the Sarkin Gude, Alhaji Sule Bawa, the Sarkin Kwandare, Alhaji Ahmadu Almakura, Sangarin Daddare, Alhaji Balarabe Alhassan, Yakanaji of Uke, Alhaji Ahmed Hassan to mention but a few.
Also in attendance were Executive Secretaries/Chairman of seven states’ pilgrims’ welfare boards/agencies/commissions. They include Abubakar S. Pawa Dambo (chairman Forum of SPWB and Executive Chairman, Zamfara State Hajj Commission; E.S Plateau SPWB as well as secretary of the forum of SPWBs, Barr. Awwal Abdullahi Esq.; Chairman of Nasarawa SPWB, Engr. Mustafa Yahuza; the host Executive Secretary, Alhaji Idris Ahmed Almakura. Other state executive secretaries were those of Niger state, Alhaji Umar Makum Lapai, Benue state, Hon. Mustafa Ibrahim; Bauchi state, Alhaji Abubakar Babangiga Tafida and the FCT PWB Director, Muhammed Nasir Dan Malam.
There were also in attendance leaders of organized labour and several institutions such as M.D Benue River Basin Authority; state Chairman Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), state Chairman Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), state leader Market Women’s Association, head of parastatals etc.
Declaring his conviction over the laudable scheme as one of the best options that will rescue the Hajj Industry in Nigeria from government dependency, the governor, His Excellency Engr. Sule added that such well thought schemes are the engines needed to advance the economic well-being of intending pilgrims as well as government which is gradually phasing out participation in religious matters. He expressed delight at the large turnout of participants awed at the fact that this is the first time he is witnessing this impressive number of traditional rulers, State executives of pilgrims’ boards and large turnout of Fulanis in one sitting. The governor described this as an indication of the scheme’s acceptance in Nasarawa state.
In his opening remarks, the NAHCON Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, enumerated the financial gains that will accrue by registering in the scheme for the intending pilgrims and for Hajj operations in Nigeria.
According to him, “the reality for the success of the Scheme however depends on all of us to propagate and support it in every way through encouraging our people to key into this noble scheme. Therefore as we rise from here today, we must all go to work to preach the message of the Hajj Savings Scheme” the chairman concluded.
In addition to the financial gains of the scheme, the Ja’iz Bank Acting Managing Director while presenting the HSS, expressed optimism over the scheme’s prospect of aiding the Commission and SPWBs in timely and efficient Hajj planning.
Other speakers during the event, such as representative of Hon. Sidi Bage1, who is the Emir of Keffi, Hon. Nalaraba, and Alhaji Idris Almakura, declared support for the Hajj Savings Scheme and encouraged participants to enroll for maximum benefit.
Fatima Sanda Usara is Head, Public Affairs, NAHCON