Lagos State Government is set to refund N30 million to members of the Lagos State contingent, who performed the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia last year.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Olalekan Murisiku, the Media Assistant to Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef and made available to The Renaissance on Wednesday.
Murisiku quoted the commissioner as explaining that the fund was meant for some services, which were not rendered to Lagos contingent during the 2017’s Hajj.
“We agitated for the refund of money meant for some services that were not rendered and it was granted.
“We shall share this money among members of the contingent to 2017 Hajj except those who are owing us”
“Lagos will never shortchange Pilgrims for whatever reason, what we are refunding belongs to the Pilgrims and not a gift from the State government.
“In the past and in some states, the Amirul – Hajj diverts such funds for private use, but for me, nothing will follow any man to his grave except his good deeds.
“People should not be denied of what is due to them. Lagos will always strive to set good examples,” AbdulLateef, who is the State Amirul-Hajj, was quoted as saying.
According to him, each of the Pilgrims will receive N12,000 only through the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, beginning from Monday, April 30.
It was, however, stated that pilgrims who had performed Hajj consecutively in the last five years and also took part in the 2017 pilgrimage, would not be entitled to the refund.
“Saudi Authority increased Visa procurement fees with N200,000 each Pilgrim, who had visited the holy land for five years, to perform either for Umrah or Hajj respectively.
“Last year, we incurred additional N14 million on this set of pilgrims in our contingents. So, any of our pilgrims during last year Hajj, who falls in this category, will not receive the refund,” the commissioner explained.
Meanwhile, AbdulLateef has reminded intending pilgrims for the 2018 Hajj exercise, to obtain their National Identity Card to guarantee them a place among Lagos contingent.
He said the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board would not process the visa for any intending pilgrims without National Identity Card.
“Go and get your National Identity Card if you want to perform this year Hajj before it is too late.
“It is mandatory for all pilgrims. National Identity Card is a prerequisite for Hajj Visa issuance.”
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