The Executive Secretary of Gombe state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Saadu Hassan Adamu has said that the full compliance with the requirements of the Hajj Saving Scheme (HSS) enabled the state to successfully transport all intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for Hajj 2022.
He said following a meeting at the National Assembly called to resolve the impasse that followed the introduction of HSS, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and the leadership of the 37 state pilgrims boards, agencies and commissions agreed that pilgrims registered under the HSS will constitute 60% of pilgrims to this year’s Hajj, while the remaining 40% will come from those registered by the states.
Speaking exclusively to HAJJ REPORTERS in Makkah on Saturday, Alhaji Adamu said
“ Alhamdu lillahi in Gombe, our transportation was hitch free. We were able to come, all of us, except for one pilgrim, who for personal reasons chose not to come”.
Many pilgrims from Nigeria could not make it to Hajj 2022 despite paying the Hajj fare in full.
Asked what was responsible for Gombe states’ ability to ferry all its pilgrims successfully, the Executive Secretary said he is aware the HSS has affected the smooth conduct of Hajj 2022 for Nigeria, adding that it was because “ some people took the Hajj saving scheme for granted. I am sorry to say, because they did not comply very well with the Hajj saving scheme unlike us. I can tell you that we complied about 95% to the HSS.
“We agreed that the states will have 60% from HSS and forty percent for the conventional Hajj pilgrims and this is because of the conventional issue we used to have with the state governments who sponsor pilgrims.
“They only pay the money without even mentioning the pilgrims at first. So they cannot get them to be enrolled on the HSS, but NAHCON and the states agreed after visiting the National Assembly to settle some disagreements and it was agreed that the HSS should carry 60% allocation of every state and the forty percent will go for conventional pilgrims”.
Alhaji Adamu added that when NAHCON eventually returned monies deposited by pilgrims between 2020 and 2021 to the state board, “we took the money to the HSS and opened a bulk account with Jaiz Bank, then later we provided the list of the depositors encompassing their NIN, BVN and Passport numbers to the bank and the bank now opened individual accounts and moved their deposits there. That’s how we got it so smooth,” he said.
The ES also said Gombe state did not experience any major challenge throughout the conduct of Hajj 2022 except for the death of a board member, an Islamic cleric.
Alhaji Adamu also said the success experienced this year can be traced to the full support granted the board by the governor of the state, Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya.
He said the governor promptly attended to all requests from the board.
“He also appointment almost all our board members from among the Ulama, who were the ones handling our enlightenment programmes, so it made things very easy for us”.
He said Gombe state had ita coaster Bus granted a special sticker that made it possible to move across Mashair unhindered.
“In fact, my governor alongside his colleagues from Borno and Adamawa state rode in our coaster Bus from Mina to Arafat,” he said.
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