HAJJ 2022: Lagos made refund of N744m to 564 intending pilgrims


The State government, through its Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, has formally fulfilled its promise to refund the money of 564 intending pilgrims that applied for refund of Hajj fare paid between 2019 and 2022 after their inability to perform the last spiritual exercise.

The refund exercise, which held on Tuesday at the Shamsi Adisa Thomas (SAT) Mosque Hall, Old Secretariat, Ikeja, Lagos had majority of the beneficiaries in attendance.

In his brief address, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi, extended the state government’s appreciation to the beneficiaries for their patience, perseverance and understanding, saying that the little delay experienced before the refund was finally effected was as a result of the need to scrutinize and verify their details to avoid unnecessary mistakes.

Elegushi disclosed that the total value of the refund being made to the beneficiaries is N743, 530,000.00, adding that cheques had been written in favour of each of them on the basis of the money they paid as Hajj fare.

Commending the Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat’s administration as one that keeps promise, he said that the government is ever ready to protect their interest at all times. He also stressed that the State Muslim Pilgrims Board is very much committed to its mission of providing the intending pilgrims with best standard of Hajj operation.

Elegushi assured intending pilgrims who still left their money with the State government for the year 2023 holy pilgrimage that they would be given priority when the operation eventually commences. He added that forms would not be sold to new entrants until they are catered for in fulfillment of the promises he made earlier.

While answering questions from the intending pilgrims, the Commissioner noted that any one of them who wishes to defer from the refund of their money can do so by filling a deferment form, which must be submitted together with the cheque to the Board.

Recall that many out of the over 4,000 intending pilgrims registered by the state were unable to perform the 2022 hajj exercise due to the increment in the Hajj fare from N1, 300,000.00 to N2,640,000.00, age barrier and other stringent measures put in place by the Saudi Arabian authority, which seriously affected the operation throughout Nigeria and across the world.

Other State government officials present include the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mrs. Lolade Aina; Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic matters, Alh. Ahmad Abdullahi Jebe; Board Chairman, Imam (Engr.) Shakiru Ayinde Gafar, Secretary and other members of the Board.

-[The Guardian]

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