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2020 Hajj: Kano launches over N418 million deposits refund

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Kano Pilgrims Board on Thursday began refund of over N418 million deposits for 2020 hajj to intending pilgrims.

About 359 out of 1,794 intending pilgrims requested for refund of their Hajj deposits after the Saudi Arabia authorities cancelled international pilgrims for 2020 hajj due to  COVID-19 pandemic.

Although this year’s hajj is scheduled to hold with limited access to 10,000 contingents from Saudi residents, about 2.5 million international pilgrims will miss the spiritual journey.

Speaking at the unveiling of the exercise, executive secretary of the board, Muhammad Abba Dambatta told journalists that the exercise covered 10 out of 44 local government areas of the state.

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Dambatta disclosed that the special refund committee comprises representatives hajj board, civil society organization, Police, DSS, Anti-corruption and media were carefully selected to ensure transparency and accountability.

The executive secretary explained that the board had encouraged the intending pilgrims to differ their advance fare ahead of 2021, he added that the board has commenced 100 per cent refund of those who choose to recover their deposits.

He said the refund policy was in line with the directive from National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), added that besides the initial 359 people, the board is willing to refund anybody later change mind to apply for repaying.

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According to him, “We are flagging off the refund today with 10 local government areas. In line with NAHCON directive, we have started refunding intending pilgrims of 2020 who choose to collect their deposits. The exercise is transparent and that is why we involve all stakeholders in the exercise including security agencies and anti-corruption body.

“So far, 1,794 persons registered for this year’s hajj and out of this number, 359 persons have applied for a refund and today we have kick off the exercise. We are starting with Dala, Ungogo, Fagge, Municipal, Wudil, Albasu, Dawakin-Tofa, Bagwa. We are issuing check of their deposits 100 per cent.

” We regretted that the 2020 hajj is cancelled due to COVID-19 but we believe the Almighty Allah knows the best. We pray next year the exercise will resume. The cancellation by Saudi Arabia authorities was deliberate because of COVID-19 but we thank God, the exercise will still hold with limited contingents”.

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