Tuesday, July 23, 2024

FG Subsidizes Hajj fare With N90bn – Report

The sum of N90 billion has allegedly been released by the federal government to subsidize the 2024 pilgrimage to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

A source at the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) told Daily Trust that without this intervention, each of the intending pilgrims would have been requested to add at least N3.5 million to the initial fare which was pegged at N4.9 million.

The source told the publication;

“The forex crisis has caused a lot of problems. That is why the Hajj Commission has asked intending pilgrims to pay the extra amount of N1.9 million each. The commission actually needed N230 billion to sort out the fare differential caused by the forex crisis.

“The N90 billion support which was provided by the government was announced in the presence of reporters during the inauguration of the board and management of the Hajj Commission which was held at the Office of the Vice Presidency on February 28, 2024. But they (reporters) were asked not to report it. That was why no newspaper carried the report. Or did you see it in any reports? If the intending pilgrims pay ₦1.9 million, it is then it can be balanced.”

He added that NAHCON had also contacted state governors “to subsidise the hajj fare for the intending pilgrims in their respective states. Kano has responded by subsiding it by N500,000 for each pilgrim.

“By the previous calculation, the N90 billion given by the federal government can only subsidise 19,000 intending pilgrims by ₦3.5 million. But by spreading it on 50,000 pilgrims, it reduces it to N1.9 million; meaning that the federal government has subsidised each pilgrim by ₦1.6 million before each intending pilgrim was asked to add the remaining N1.9 million.”

A top official at the Presidency also confirmed that the federal government “actually provided some financial support for the hajj exercise”. The official said;

“Of course, the federal government has offered support for the pilgrims because the pilgrims have been lamenting.

“Normally, any support that the government is giving to any faith, whether the Christian faith or the Muslim faith, the government d

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