The Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi, has assured intending pilgrims from the state that the $ 800 Travel Allowance (BTA) promised them during the one-day seminar held at the Blue Roof Arena, Agidingbi, Ikeja, recently, would be fulfilled.
He gave the assurance on Wednesday while briefing the fourth batch of the intending pilgrims on the efforts government has taken to facilitate the collection of the dollars for their welfare while in the holy land for the spiritual exercise.
Speaking at the Hajj camp, Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos, Elegushi said that the state government had paid the naira equivalent to Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, but the bank was demanding for the e-passport of each intending pilgrim before releasing the money.
According to him, after writing letter guaranting as well as presenting the airlifting manifest of all the intending pilgrims, the bank declined, saying it will need to get appropriate directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) before taking necessary action.
While pleading for understanding of the intending pilgrims, he gave assurances that as a responsible and responsive government, the state will do everything humanly possible to ensure the bank releases the BTA in dollars for every pilgrim without further delay.
The commissioner, on behalf of the state government, appreciated the intending pilgrims for their understanding and cooperation, saying the administration of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat will not take the gesture for granted.
The fourth batch of 347 intending pilgrims comprising 143 males and 204 females were merged with 81 from Oyo State and three NAHCON officials to make a total of 431 passengers on board the Flynas Airbus with registration number PK-LER and flight number XY- 5032, which took off at exactly 11.41pm on Wednesday, June 22,2022.
With the safe arrival of the fourth batch of 347 pilgrims, Lagos State now has 1,598 pilgrims already airlifted to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while efforts are still ongoing to airlift the remaining intending pilgrims.
Government functionaries at the airport to see off the pilgrims include, Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic matters, Hon. Ahmad Abdullahi Jebe and the Board Chairman, Engr. Shakiru Ayinde Gafar.
Others are Hon. AbdulWaheed Lolade Shonibare (Board member), Mr. Hakeem Kosoko (Secretary), South West Commissioner of NAHCON, Alhaja Basirat Akintunde, andothers.