NAHCON reiterates readiness to refund 2022 Hajj pilgrims

Fri, Oct 21, 2022
By editor


THE National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has reiterated readiness to refund Hajj fares of the 2022 Hajj pilgrims who were unable to perform the pilgrimage.

The Assistant Director, Public Affairs Unit of NAHCON, Mrs Fatima Usara, gave the assurance in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Usara explained that the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NAHCON, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, had never minced words on the Commission’s readiness to refund pilgrims of 2022 Hajj who requested for it.

” Likewise, in response to several inquiries, NAHCON staff had on many platforms assured of the commission’s preparedness to make refunds as soon as reconciliation is concluded.

” Reconciliation follows a bureaucratic process, and I believe one would agree that it is better to get it right. In 2019, Hajj return journey ended on September 12, refunds were made 82 days later, in December.

” Also Hajj 2017 ended on October 2, out of the sum of N820,283,965, N181 million was paid to states’ pilgrims and their officials that could not travel for the pilgrimage in two batches.

” First batch to 11 states in December 2017 (over 60 days after Hajj), while 13 pilgrims’ boards and agencies received theirs in February 2018 after reconciliation, four months later. The later was made about 140 days after Hajj.”

She emphasised that NAHCON does not keep pilgrims’ money in an account the commission controls, adding that all Hajj fare components are distributed to the rightful hajj operators at due time from the commission’s Central Bank (CBN) account.

” Vis-à-vis to State Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards, air carriers, and Pilgrims Establishment in Saudi Arabia famously called Mu’assasa. Mu’assasa is also answerable to the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

” After Hajj, the actual number of persons that performed the pilgrimage is confirmed, subsequently same operatives now each return funds of those who could not participate in the exercise into NAHCON’s CBN account.

” There may be refunds for services poorly rendered too which the commission receives from service providers through Mu’assasa.

” After all the components are returned from the various operatives, the states pilgrims boards that are ready follow up with their records for reconciliation and re-collection of the total amount. The boards are then charged with the responsibility of disbursing the funds to the owners.

” Of course, there is always room for improvement and the commission is not unmindful of that,” she said.

Usara disclosed that NAHCON had completely refunded Kano State Hajj Savings Scheme pilgrims by Oct. 11, because the State Pilgrims Welfare Board had since reconciled its HSS books.

She also said that the first batch of Kano refund was made on September 9, 2022, 33 days after completion of Hajj.

“Other state pilgrims’ welfare boards that have concluded their HSS reconciliation and are about to receive the refunds are Jigawa, Katsina, Federal Capital Territory, Bauchi, Kogi, Lagos, and Plateau states.

She said that NAHCON has not turned back any states that was ready for reconciliation, adding that the commission believes the states are not sitting idle either, some of them have indeed gone far in the reconciliation process.

Usara advise any advocacy group that was interested in protecting the welfare of pilgrims to consider following the right channels in comprehending any misconceptions it has about the Commission.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that about 3,000 pilgrims missed the 2022 Hajj.(NAN)