The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Anofiu Elegushi, handed over the cheques to the intending pilgrims yesterday during a short ceremony in Ikeja.
The Lagos State Government through its Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board has refunded N744 million to 564 intending pilgrims that were not airlifted to Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrimage paid between 2019 and 2022 in the state.
As gathered, the 564 intending pilgrims applied for a refund after waiting for over three years without being able to perform the last spiritual exercise, an effort that was also prevented by an increase in the hajj fare.
Elegushi extended the State Government’s appreciation to the beneficiaries for their patience, perseverance, and understanding, saying that the little delay experienced before the refund was finally effected was a result of the need to scrutinize and verify their details in order to avoid unnecessary mistakes.
He also emphasized that the State Muslim Pilgrims Board was very much committed to its mission of providing the intending pilgrims with the best standard of Hajj operation.
Elegushi assured intending pilgrims who still left their money with the State Government for the year 2023 holy pilgrimage that they would be given priority when the operation eventually commenced.
The commissioner added that forms would not be sold to new entrants until they are catered for in fulfillment of the promises he made earlier.
He noted that any one of them who wishes to defer from the refund of their money can do so by filling out a deferment form which must be submitted together with the cheque to the Board.
Recall that many out of the over 4,000 intending pilgrims registered by the State were unable to perform the 2022 hajj exercise due to the increment in the Hajj fare from N1,300,000.00 to N2,640,000.00, age barrier, and other stringent measures put in place by the Saudi Arabian authority which seriously affected the operation throughout Nigeria and across the world.
Other State Government officials present include the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Lolade Aina; Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic matters, Abdullahi Jebe; Board Chairman, Shakiru Gafar, Secretary, and other members of the Board.
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