- Hajj reforms embarked upon by President Buhari’s administration has saved Nigerian pilgrims over N90 billion between 2015 and 2018
- According to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, the federal government abolished pilgrims sponsorship that used to cost about N1.6 billion annually during the reforms
- NAHCON’s spokesperson, Fatima Sanda Usara, said N229 million was saved through querying of local fees imposed on pilgrims
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) disclosed that the reforms that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration embarked upon has saved Nigerian pilgrims over N90 billion between 2015 and 2018.
Daily Trust reports that NAHCON’s spokesperson, Fatima Sanda Usara, made this known during an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja.
Usara stated that the hajj operations, during the previous administration, enmeshed in corrupt practices, which she said, included BTA dollar fraud, fraud in dollar concession and profiteering in the name of government sponsorship.
She added that the corrupt practices were brought under control as a result of various reforms introduced by the Buhari administration.
Giving the breakdown of the figures, Usara said through discontinuation of dollar concession, N75 billion was saved in 2017.
During the period of Buhari’s reform, she said the federal government abolished pilgrims sponsorship that used to cost about N1.6 billion annually.
She said: “$14 million was saved when NAHCON introduced direct accommodation negotiation with homeowners in 2017. Each pilgrim would have paid 746 Riyals extra."
According to her, Nigerian pilgrims would have been defrauded N1.6 billion but for the designation of Jaiz Bank in conjunction with the Islamic Development Bank as the official Hadaya agents.
In 2018, she said N229 million was saved through querying of local fees imposed on pilgrims. According to her, “For poorly rendered services during Hajj, pilgrims were refunded N1.5 billion in 2016 and due to improved services in 2017, it came down to N526 million.”
Usara, however, listed some of the reforms introduced by the commission to include unified operations in Saudi Arabia under national teams, reduced number of ad-hoc staff from 2000 to 500, and the introduction of penalties on air carriers that abandoned pilgrims.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria transported 34,978 pilgrims in 90 flights to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the year 2018 Hajj exercise.
That was disclosed on Wednesday, August 15, by the commission’s command control unit, which disseminates each airlift from various international Airports in Nigeria.
The airlift of pilgrims which is expected to end this Friday, August 17, is being carried out by two local airlines, Max and Medview, and a Saudi Arabian owned Flynas Air.
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