Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim’s Wing) has disclosed that the board will return unspent money to the 2022 Pilgrims as it also promised a better Hajj exercise next year.
The Chairman of the State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Professor Sayed Malik in a press briefing on Tuesday at the Olodo Ibadan office of the Board, admitted that there were hitches in this year’s Hajj exercise but pledged that such hitches would not be allowed to re-occur in 2023.
He disclosed that the Governor of the State has also directed the Board to return the money in full, to about 150 people that missed the 2022 Hajj due to failure to obtain the visas.
He added that those who wish to keep their money for 2023 Hajj with the Board will be the first to be considered without additional charges irrespective of the next year fees.
Professor Malik also said the Board will also return unspent money to the 2022 Pilgrims starting from tomorrow.
“Lessons have been learned in this year’s Hajj exercise. And these lessons will be put to use in the planning of next year’s exercise. I want to assure you that we will block all loopholes noticed in the 2022 hajj. In sha Allah, 2023 Hajj will be better in terms of planning and arrangements”, Professor Malik said.
While apologizing to intending pilgrims who could not perform Hajj in 2022, the State Pilgrims Welfare Board Chairman, who exonerated his Board from the unfortunate phenomenon, however promised to compensate the victims of the sad incident.
“I am promising that those who couldn’t perform hajj in 2022 will be given priority in 2023, while any of them who requests for refund will be paid back in full without any deduction”.
Professor Malik however declared the 2022 Hajj exercise a success despite admitting that there were hitches in the exercise.
“In spite of the initial hiccups caused by the Saudi Authorities’ strict anti COVID 19 protocols and the haphazard arrangements of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), the hajj exercise was a success.
“The initial hitches were overcome, and there was no casualty throughout the period of the holy pilgrimage. All the 641 pilgrims whom we transported to the holy lands were returned safely.
“All the pilgrims were given their Basic Traveling Allowances (BTA) in full. The initial complaints of a very few of the pilgrims were addressed as none of them was owed”.
The Saudi Arabian trained Professor of Arabic Studies was full of thanks to the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde for the massive supports he gave to the Board.
“The success recorded in this year’s Hajj exercise could not have been possible if not for the support we enjoyed from His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde. We therefore thank Governor Makinde for the timely and invaluable moral and financial supports he gave to the Board. We are also grateful to the members of the Government Delegation. Their activities contributed immensely to the success of this year’s Hajj exercise”, he concluded.
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