Hajj 2018: Civil society demands reduction of minimum deposit to N300,000 per month

Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 17 November 2017 | 1,622 times

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Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), a civil society organisation, has called on state pilgrims boards to reduce the minimum deposit for 2018 hajj fare to N300,000 per month to allow low income earners cope with the instalmental payment.

Kaduna State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board had on Wednesday commenced the registration of intending pilgrims for the 2018 pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in all the 23 local government areas of the state.

The statement issued on Sunday by Yunusa Muhammad Abdullahi, Public Relations Officer of the Board, had asked intending pilgrims to pay a minimum of N800,000 as deposits in a designated bank account of the Board.

He also advised intending pilgrims to present themselves physically during the exercise because registration by proxy would not be allowed.

But, a statement jointly signed by IHR national coordinator, Ibrahim Muhammed and publicity secretary Abubakar Mahmoud on Thursday expressed its worries that despite the resolution reached at the Abuja meeting, Lagos and Kaduna States are asking intending pilgrims to make a deposit of N1.3 million and N800,000 at a go respectively.

“In view of the above, we are calling on Lagos and Kaduna States Pilgrims; Boards to review their minimum deposit benchmark to N300,000:00 as directed by NAHCON.

“We also call on other states that are yet to commence registration to toe the line suggested by NAHCON.

“Over 75% intending pilgrims in Nigeria are farmers and low income earners. Secondly, the current economic reality should have been factored into consideration before arriving at the decision by the two states pilgrims’ boards,” IHR statement said.

The civil society organisation said since NAHCON has already set March ending as the deadline for the registration of 2018 hajj. N300,000 paid in five months from November is N1.5 million, such amount will likely be able to meet the 2018 hajj fare package.

“It’s believed that spreading 2018 hajj fare packages into staggered and affordable monthly remittance will give intending pilgrims the much-needed monetary flexibility to pay for the hajj fare without serious financial strain on their meager incomes.”

NAHCON and states pilgrims boards had earlier agreed that intending pilgrims who wish to perform 2018 hajj shall commence by paying N300, 000 per month in four months to make up to N1.2 million pending when the official hajj seat package is released by the government.

The decision was reached during the NAHCON/SMPWBS meeting held at the international conference centre Abuja recently.

Briefing the newsmen after the meeting NAHCON permanent commissioner in charge of Policy and Personnel management, Alhaji Ibrahim Yusuf Adebayo, said NAHCON has directed states pilgrims’ welfare boards and agencies to commence registration for 2018 hajj.

NAHCON dir to peg the minimum deposit by pilgrims to N300,000 monthly so that in four months they can be able to make a deposit of N1.2 million.

Source: News Express

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