A delegation comprising members of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, and representatives from Forum of State Pilgrims Welfare Boards arrived in Indonesia on 4th of September 2022 on a Study Tour of Badan Pengolola Keuangan Haji (BPKH) for a better understanding of the Hajj Savings Scheme (HSS) and other areas of Hajj management.
The Study Tour and Capacity Building will last until 11th of September.
BPKH, Indonesia’s equivalent of Nigeria’s HSS officially took off on July 26th, 2017. According to a report, BPKH had since then recorded a steady increase in managed Hajj funds. Despite the the COVID-19 pandemic and economic contraction in 2020, the balance of Hajj funds managed by BPKH was Rp143.1 trillion, from Rp124.32 trillion in 2019, an increase of 15.08 percent. “This achievement also exceeded the managed fund target set by BPKH in 2020 of Rp139.5 trillion.” By 2022, the organization realized 10-11 Billion Dollars returns in investment which it used to subsidize the 2022 by 59% (the pilgrims paid 2, 611 Dollars while the actual cost of the year’s Hajj was 6,411 Dollars)
The Study Tour under the leadership of NAHCON’s Commissioner Policy, Personnel Management and Finance, Alhaji Nura Hassan Yakassai, was sponsored by the Islamic Development Bank since 2019 but the program could not hold resultant from the Covid-19 lockdown.
At the opening ceremony of the study tour program, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia, His Excellency, Ambassador Usman Ari Ogah charged representatives of the two countries to build on the relationship already established years ago. He also charged NAHCON to learn from BPKH, the Indonesian agency having gone far in the field of Hajj finance, Hajj management and other aspects of Islamic social support. Amb. Ogah harped on the need for NAHCON to learn from Indonesia’s mosque management system. He challenged NAHCON to spearhead a system of wealth creation for the Muslim Ummah which he affirmed; the Commission had already started through the HSS. According to him, Hajj should not be seen only as a religious requirement but the fact that it is as well a financial institution where Muslims can benefit from finance inclusion.
Dr Angitto Abimanyu, M.Sc , the Chairman of BPKH appreciated that both NAHCON and BPKH have met several times in the past and should meet regularly because improving services to pilgrims is a common goal of the two organizations. He welcomed the NAHCON delegation while reiterating the fact that Nigeria and Indonesia have shared bilateral relationships in several aspects both under the Hajj institution and other social life facets.
Head of the NAHCON delegation, Alhaji Yakassai outlined the areas where the Commission needs assistance from BPKH which includes strong collaboration on the HSS, learn from Indonesia’s Hajj queuing system, learn from the country’s 21st century technical advancement in relation to Hajj management and exchange of ideas. He thanked the BPKH team for the warm welcome and prayed for a successful deliberation.
The study tour is part of Islamic Development Bank’s support in the promotion of Hajj fund management under Islamic finance for the benefit of intending pilgrims. Highlight of the day’s activity were opening ceremony and Introduction to BPKH (Management of Hajj Funds in Indonesia) by Dr Abimanyu; visit to Ministry of Religious Affairs for an interactive session on Hajj Management of Indonesian Pilgrims in Indonesia and in Saudi Arabia. The NAHCON delegation was received and hosted by Director General of Hajj and Umrah Ministry, Mr Hilman Lateef. The day’s activities was round-up with a dinner in honor of the delegation courtesy of Nigeria’s Ambassador to Indonesia.