BRIEFING BY THE DIRECTOR, FCT MUSLIM PILGRIMS WELFARE BOARD, ABUJA, MALAM MUHAMMAD NASIRU DANMALLAM ON THE REFUND TO INTENDING PILGRMS ON 13TH SEPTEMBER 2021.
In the Name of Allah, The most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.
- Gentlemen of the Press, I welcome you to this very important Press briefing which is the first gathering that brings about members of the Press from various media organization at a time.
- I also appreciate your individual contribution toward enlightening the general public on the activities of our Board over the years. In fact, without your support, the Board couldn’t have showcased its activities to the Residents of the FCT and the general public. Therefore, I must thank you for your enthusiasm on the successes of the Board at all times.
- Gentlemen of the Press, as you are all aware hajj to Saudi Arabia couldn’t take place with Nigerians for two years due to Covid-19 pandemic. The outbreak of the disease compelled the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to restrict the participation of hajj without foreign nationals in 2020 and 2021. At our own level and in line with the directives of the National hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), we kept planning for the hajj and made all necessary arrangements with the hope that the exercise would take place until the last minutes when authorities from the Saudi Arabia communicated to us through the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on the cancellation of the exercises.
- Before the cancellation, the Board had registered a total of One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fourteen (1,714) Intending Pilgrims who have indicated interest to perform the religious journey through the Board in 2021 Hajj. These numbers include those who rolled over their deposits from the already cancelled 2020 hajj exercise. Following the cancellation, the Board communicated to the Intending Pilgrims who may have wished to collect their deposit to indicate interest and get refunded. As such, the Board has as at Friday last week (10/09/2021) refunded the sum of Four Hundred and Thirty Two million Naira (N432,000,000.00) only to Three Hundred and Thirty Four Intending Pilgrims who have indicated interest to collect their deposit. The Board made the refund without any deductions. The exercise is ongoing.
- However, it is pertinent to inform you that not all the remaining 1,380 Intending Pilgrims have paid the minimum deposit of One Million, Five Hundred Thousand naira (N1,500,000.00) as instructed by the NAHCON, as such those who deposited below One Million Naira (N1,000,000.00) could not be captured in the central data base provided by the regulating body against Hajj 2021. Therefore, the board advised those that deposited below the minimum amount to migrate from the accustomed method of payment for Hajj seats to the Hajj Savings Scheme (HSS) which was initiated by the NAHCON to enable intending pilgrims pay for hajj at their own convenience. The Hajj Savings Scheme gives them a better chance of gradually completing their payment for Hajj seat and participating in future exercises.
- Let me explain here also that, those who have deposited up to the minimum deposit of One Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N1,500,000.00) and intended to rollover their deposits to 2022 hajj would surely get priority if it turns out that hajj would take place and FCT gets enough slots to cater for them all. But those Intending Pilgrims should also note that their chance of getting the seat would depend on the number of hajj slots allocated to the FCT by NAHCON. However, they would definitely be given priority on first come first served basis.
- Sequel to this development, the Board would not collect fresh deposits from prospective Intending Pilgrims until it received 2022 hajj allocation from NAHCON and have fully accommodated the rolled over depositors.
- Thank you all for honouring our invitation and I hope you continue with the existing good working relationship between the Board and the Media. Our doors are always open to all our stakeholders for enquiries and useful suggestion on how to enhance our operations.
- Thank you and God bless you all.
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