NAHCON seeks completion of Lagos hajj camp
Lagos advocates revenue-generating rights for State Muslim Pilgrims Boards
The Chairman of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan has sought the assistance of the Lagos State Government for the completion of the Akowonjo-Alimosho Hajj Camp, saying the camp has remained in its present status because of lack of fund.
The NAHCON Chairman made this appeal during the inspection visit to Akowonjo hajj camp in Lagos.He stressed the need to generate revenue internally to execute the project, saying: “What the Federal Government’s agency has been able to accomplish so far on the camp, was achieved through the development levy being collected from every intending pilgrim from the South West states, which include Lagos, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Edo, as well as the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Private Tour operators”.
He appealed to stakeholders not to allow the project to be moribund, saying that the development levy which is the major source of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the agency was initially fixed at N5,000 but has now been reduced to N3,000 on each intending pilgrim.
The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi, also appealed to NAHCON to give all the State’s Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards the right to generate revenue internally in order to have enough fund to effectively execute the hajj operation in their respective states.He maintained that by availing the State’s Muslim Boards the opportunity of generating revenues internally, they would be financially buoyant to carry out hajj operations without putting much burden on their respective state governments.
“By reducing the huge expenses usually being incurred by the states during hajj operation, the state governments would be able to channel the fund to other equally important projects that will be beneficial to the generality of the people,” he said.
While hailing the NAHCON chairman and his management team on his effort so far in improving hajj administration in Nigeria, Elegushi urged the management to consider building an Islamic Centre on the expanse of land where a standard Muslim school could be established to cater for the children of Muslims residing in the Alimosho Local Government and its environs while the already completed structures could be converted to hostel for the admitted students.
He added that such legacy if established would bridge the gap of shortages of standard Muslim schools in the area and serve as a source of revenue generation for the organization.
He also advised NAHCON management to commercialize the Multi-Purpose hall in the camp with a view to renting it out to interested individuals/organizations for the staging of Islamic occasions and events. He stressed that any individual/organization applying to use the hall must be made to obey lay down rules and regulations in line with Islamic injunctions.
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