P R O T O C O L
It is my pleasure to once again welcome you to the Headquarters’ of the Board for this very important occasionslated to brief you on the conduct of refund exercise to 2020/2021 intending pilgrims across the State. You may recall last month, I addressed a press conference during which I released details of the refund exercise and payments made in three batches.
The purpose of this briefing therefore, is to provide you and the general public with an update on the implementation of the directives of His Excellency the Executive Governor of Katsina State to the Board concerning the refund exercise for both 2020 and 2021 intending pilgrims/depositors and the progress so far made in the payments to those who requested.
The refund exercise started in the early days of July this year and conducted in batches. As usual, applications received from intending pilgrims across the Zones are processed by the appointed Committee and refunds are granted without delay. I am happy to inform you that, so far, five batches have been attended to, and the sum of N768,930,455.30was paid to 599 intending pilgrims, representing 22.01% of the total 2,721 depositors. Each batch is covered by a report for record and accountability as per the following details:-
|S/NO.||DETAILS||NO. PAID||AMOUNT PAID|
Gentlemen of the press, I wish to further bringto your notice that, from the statistics of our registration, we have depositors with payments ranging from the sum of N300,000 to N1,500,000 and all refunds are made to the last Kobo. I wish to also re-affirm that, the refund exercise is on-going and any intending pilgrim wishing to request for refund of his/her deposit is free to do so. While, those willing to roll-over their deposits against the 2022 Hajj are advised to utilise the gesture by contacting their Zonal offices to fill/sign the roll-over agreement form to seal their interest.
It is important to remind ourselves the reason for this refund exercise, and refresh our memoriesonthe cancellation of Hajj 2021 to foreign pilgrims by the Saudi Arabian Authorities due to prevalence of COVID-19,However, positive indicators emanating from the Kingdom, on the conduct of Umrah exercise including the relaxation of Covid-19 protocols, reduction of physical distancing between worshipers and the return of Zam-Zam dispensers/Quran sessions in the two Holy Mosques signalling return to normalcy and confirmed our optimism that, Hajj 2022 will come to be In Shaa Allah. Hence, the Board will continue to strategize, plan and prepare for the operations.
On this note ladies and gentlemen, Iwish to commend the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) for their leadership role and our teeming intending pilgrims for their loyalty, show of understanding,confidence and trust. In this vein, I call on them to continue on this path and be health conscious; they should also keep their COVID-19 vaccination cards safely for future usage.
Furthermore, I wish to call on intending pilgrims wishing for refund of their deposits to do so immediately as activities starting preparations for the 2022 Hajj are expected to resume in the last quarter of this year, when NAHCON might have released the guidelines/seat allocation to states and eventual activation of its e-track portal for registration of prospective intending pilgrims.
I would also like to seize this opportunity to inform the good people of Katsina State and beyond that, His Excellency the Governor, has blessed our proposal and granted approval to the Board to start Umrah operation in line with internationally acceptable standards. To actualise this laudable objective, we are working round the clock to obtain the required licences and other operational permits and shall keep the general public informed on the progress made, time of commencement for their patronage.
Finally, Iwish to extend my profoundgratitude and appreciation of the Board to His Excellency the Executive Governor of Katsina State Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello Masari CFR, for His continued support at the turn of every event and other stakeholders for their prayers and understanding.
Thank you, may Allah SWT continue to bless our efforts.
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