NAHCON faults Lagos’ hajj fee as state explains decision
National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), yesterday, insisted no ‘state pilgrims’ welfare board has right to fix pilgrimage fare outside statutory benchmark.
This is even as it gives states, agencies and commissions tomorrow deadline to completely remit this year’s fare.
NAHCON recently announced a N2.9 million for participating pilgrims from Lagos, Oyo and Ogun states. Against the stipulated fee, however, Lagos State Pilgrims Welfare Board directed faithful to pay N3.2 million.
Addressing journalists at the end of a review meeting in Abuja, NAHCON Chairman, Zikrullah Hassan, explained that final decision for fare was reached after due process.
He clarified that Jaiz Bank remains only recognised entity to manage animal sacrifice.
According to the NAHCON boss, the Commission would work with any amount remitted by Friday and sign agreements for corresponding airlifting
He explained that 50 per cent down payment to carriers was formal, while another 35 per cent would follow after deployment of aircraft.
Reacting, Lagos State government said its price was to accommodate other unforeseen circumstances.
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi, said a stakeholders’ meeting agreed on a one-line package of N,2,999,000 on or before April 21, being deadline given by NAHCON state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards to remit fare.
Aside from fare, the meeting considered the importance of fulfilling some essential and almost compulsory items/activities to be carried out by pilgrims both in Nigeria and the holy Land, not captured by NAHCON, hence, the agreement between intending pilgrims and state government that N200,000 be added to the cost.
According to him, the added sum would cater for items such as: cost of Hadiyyah (sacrificial) ram, medical screening and important Islamic sites both in Makkah and Madinah.
Elegushi said the meeting agreed that N200,000 should be paid within two to three weeks after the April 21 deadline by NAHCON, adding that a video clip was available for confirmation.