Lagos opens contributory scheme for Muslim, Christian pilgrims
Lagos State government last Monday launched a contributory scheme for Muslim and Christian prospective pilgrims.
State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, at the launch of Pay Small Small Scheme, said that it was in line with his administration’s policy to make everyone participate in the holy pilgrimage irrespective of their financial status or class.
Ambode said that with the scheme, petty traders and other low-income earners would be able to fulfill their religious obligations in a more convenient way.
The governor, who described the scheme as one of his administration’s strategies to create an enabling environment for every resident to feel the impact of the government, said more approaches were underway to make life better for the citizen irrespective of their tribe, religion and other differences.
Ambode, who was represented at the ceremony by the state Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef, added that the package was meant to carry along even the less privileged in the society, “to ensure that even with N50,000, you can begin to pay for your pilgrimage to Makkah, Medina, Rome and Jerusalem.”
Continuing, he said: “We have partnered with Micro Finance firm that will allow people to choose either three, two years or one contributory scheme for the pilgrimage depending on the ability of such a person. In fact, there is a package of N1,500 daily contribution scheme for the pilgrimage.
“The government wants to ensure that people are carried along and they are able to discharge their religious duties without stress. So, to the ordinary trader, it is an avenue to fulfill their obligations. One way of alleviating poverty is to carried the people along and assure them of place in the heart of government,” he said.
Managing Director, Medview Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole commended the government for the initiative.
“As we all know, pilgrimage is there for everyone as long as the existence of mankind. For the government to think of this scheme, it must have considered the plight of the downtrodden of Nigeria. They struggle to partake in the pilgrimage yearly some of them contribute to fulfill the religious obligations. For government to have designed a safe window to keep their money from their small scale businesses, it will afford them the opportunities to actualise their dreams,” Bankole said.