Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 13 December 2017 | 1,953 times
Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), a civil society organisation that monitors and reports on Hajj and Umrah activities in Nigeria, has promised to monitor the disbursement of refunds made to state pilgrims’ welfare boards by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).
The refunds are for services either not provided or rendered poorly during the 2017 Hajj.
IHR in a statement jointly signed by its National Coordinator, Ibrahim Muhammed, and Publicity Secretary, Abubakar Mahmoud, noted that NAHCON has facilitated the recovery of refunds from service providers for services not rendered to 2017 hajj pilgrims and that such funds have been sent to state pilgrims welfare boards for immediate distribution to the owners.
The statement said the states and amount sent for disbursement as published by the Hajj Commission are as follows: Kaduna N129,777,108.96; Sokoto N66,388.568.76; Zamfara N67,503,914.37; Bauchi N47,875,183.40; Osun N31,726,699.29; Plateau N23,934,388.65; Gombe N25,182,856.51; and Ondo N4,548,471.84. Others are Delta N3,157,053.94; Cross River N313,180.10; and Abia N884,231.59
“We are committed to monitoring the disbursement of these monies and ensure that all pilgrims are sully refunded. We will do this in collaboration with all relevant security agencies,” IHR said.
It expressed reservation over the foot-dragging by state Muslims pilgrims welfare boards that are yet to commence the disbursement of the money to the affected pilgrims even after receiving such funds weeks ago.
According to IHR, “Out of 11 states that has been given 2017 hajj refunds, only Osun State’s has released a statement urging its pilgrims to come forward for the refunds while other states are silent.
“It could be recalled that in 2015 hajj, a whopping sum of N1.8 billion naira was sent to states pilgrims’ welfare boards by the hajj commission for same purpose. While some states disbursed the funds accordingly, others deliberately created administrative bottlenecks that made it practically difficult for the funds to be disbursed.
“In view of the above, we are calling on the concerned states pilgrims welfare boards to commence immediate payment of the refunds to the affected pilgrims without further delay.”
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