Hajj Savings scheme: A way out for intending pilgrims. By Mariam Zubair Abubakar

“And complete the Hajj and Umrah for Allah… .” (Qur’an 1:196)

“And(mention) when Abraham was raising the foundations of the house and (with him) Ishmael (saying), our lord, accept this from us, indeed you are the hearing, the knowing.” (Qur’an 2:127)


The Hadith of the Prophet, (SAW) confirms Hajj as a major pillar of Islam, and therefore it is compulsory for any Muslim who is capable (financially and health-wise) to do so.


Hajj is a spiritual journey that every Muslim who is mentally, physically, and financially stable is obligated to embark on. Raising funds for the journey is what makes it difficult for some people who intend to go on the journey, especially in Nigeria to do so.


The high Hajj fare tends to be a big challenge for intending Pilgrims. Most Muslims find it difficult to pay before the closure/deadline set for the payment, therefore some borrow, some sell their properties, or ask for favors to be able to make or complete their payments which will make them eligible for the journey.

The culture in Nigeria is that most intending pilgrims become relaxed until when the deadline approaches that they become desperate to make payments at the last minute making it difficult for the Hajj managers to handle the rush perfectly hence, it affects the provision of quality service during the pilgrimage. Unlike in some other countries that operate on a system like the Hajj Savings Scheme (HSS). Similarly, some state governors sponsor pilgrims for Hajj, but do so in the late hour. Since the Hajj preparatory style in Nigeria does not recognize queuing for slots, it causes traffic, especially for those who might have paid earlier but might still have to wait for last minute formalities due to poor arrangements. This lack of strategic queuing system affects the Hajj preparations both on-shore and off-shore.

Hajj Savings Scheme is a structured savings plan aimed at assisting all Nigerians planning to perform the Hajj pilgrimage irrespective of financial status. The HSS creates an avenue for intending Nigerian Muslim pilgrims to save towards fulfilling this pillars of Islam.


The HSS was established to discharge NAHCON’s mandate as provided for in Section 7 of its Establishment Act. The section creates a window that enables pilgrims to save gradually to perform Haj. The deposits would be invested in Shariah-compliant ventures whose profits would be used to complement the deposits made by intending pilgrims. In a nutshell, the profit will be channeled in supporting the payment of Hajj fare by the depositor. HSS is envisaged to provide an alternative means of financial inclusion and economic empowerment for Nigerian intending pilgrims, while administratively, HSS would facilitate long-term planning for Hajj by Hajj managers, it is a queue-based system that is on a first come first serve basis.


Conversely, the Commission’s ultimate goal is to make Hajj easy for the pilgrims. As part of the process to achieve that, the Hajj Savings Scheme was launched on the 4th of October 2020 in Kano state that were later spread to all states within the country. NAHCON and the State Pilgrims Welfare Boards/ Agencies/Commissions in partnership with the Jaiz Bank collaborate to provide long-term savings platform for Muslims who intend to save for Hajj purpose only. The investment scheme is therefore based on the Mudarraba principle which means partnership.


To enrol, an intending pilgrim is mandated to register with Ja’iz bank and present their BVN, NIN, Passport photograph and Utility Bill in accordance with KPI. The scheme covers all components of the Hajj fare of a particular year. Once you become eligible, you will be notified by the authorities in advance for you to prepare for your spiritual journey.

With the current situation on the fluctuation of the exchange rate in the country, the HSS presents one of the most effective form of saving towards Hajj. The system is reliable, effective, efficient, flexible, and transparent, which makes all subscribers eligible depending on one’s position in the queue. Registration is easy through one’s phone by logging into the HSS web portal, or visiting the nearest Jaiz bank.


There is no option of payment through cheque, bills, notes, bank drafts, dividend warrant or other non-cash instruments as a form of deposit into the HSS account. Funding is either in cash or electronic transfer. The Bank may issue pay-in-slips for the deposit of cash into the account.

Similarly, withdrawal from the account shall only be for direct payment to NAHCON as payment for Hajj fares or in the event of withdrawal from the scheme, direct credit to customer savings or current account in which case the HSS account shall be closed.


The scheme gives room for opting out with full refunds to one’s account including whatever profit that accrues. All profit accumulated will be shared between the Bank and the customer. In the event of the demise of a customer, the heirs of the deceased subscriber can access the funds after providing a letter of administration from a court of competent jurisdiction. The scheme is well-organized and transparent.

HSS protects the intending pilgrims both from the rural and urban areas from becoming victims of mischievous scammers and reduces the rate of criminals that defraud the intending pilgrims of their hard-earned money in the name of guiding/helping them to pay their Hajj fares. So many people have fallen victim to such acts. However, the launching of the HSS has made Hajj registration easier, and more transparent and resolved the issue of queuing. Enrollment into the HSS will help the Hajj industry to be more organized, especially with the arrangement, payment, and securing of the Hajj components in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it will enhance the quality and efficiency of the services provided for the pilgrims during the Hajj period.


Therefore, using the HSS to enroll pilgrims will bring more sanity to the Hajj industry, and will aid easy preparations for Hajj operation.


All Intending pilgrims who wish to embark on Hajj, are therefore advised to queue into the Hajj savings scheme for a more organized and improved Hajj ritual.

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