Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have failed to fully comply with the directive issued by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), that intending pilgrims be made to pay for their Hadaya (animal sacrifice) through Jaiz bank.
The commission had on May 28 this year, held a “strategic planning meeting” with top management of Ja’iz Bank to review previous engagements on how best to consolidate operations for payment of Hadaya by pilgrims.
The outcome of the meeting confirmed the existence of Hadaya racketeering in and outside Nigeria.
It therefore, decided that “strong penalties must be introduced to deal with anyone involved in the swindling of Nigerian pilgrims on matters of Hadaya”.
Measures to protect intending pilgrims from falling victims to Hadaya fraudsters were also drawn.
Consequently, intending pilgrims were cautioned against committing their Hadaya charges to any individual apart from Ja’iz Bank.
A statement issued by the spokesperson of NAHCON, Fatima Sanda Usara at the time asked intending pilgrims to deposit the fees with any Jaiz Bank branch closest to them.
They would then be issued with a receipt confirming payment.
“Alternatively, any committee set up by state pilgrims welfare boards to collect the said amount, due to absence of JBN in the area, must remit the collected funds into JBN, the authorised representatives of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in Nigeria and thereafter distribute receipts to the clients,” the statement said.
Payment for Hadaya is only expected from intending pilgrims who plan to undertake Hajj Tamattu’i. Majority of Nigerian pilgrims chose this type of Hajj.
Failure to comply
Despite the efforts by NAHCON, statistics of payment made as sourced from Jaiz Bank by INDEPENDENT HAJJ REPORTERS, shows that all the states of the federation has failed to comply with the directive.
Official data shows that Katsina with 3086 pilgrims recorded the highest remittance of N52,407,230:50 for 1297 pilgrims; FCT with 2250 remitted N44,325,930:50 for 1097 pilgrims, followed by Gombe which remitted N32,729,265:00 for 810 pilgrims.
The statistics also revealed that Kano and Kaduna, the two states with the highest number of pilgrims are also among those with the lowest compliance rate.
While Kaduna with 3,561 remitted N12,202,763:00 as payment for 302 pilgrims, Kano with 3170 pilgrims remitted N25,496,501:50 for 631 pilgrims.
Other states with relatively high number of remittances are Jigawa with 893 pilgrims and a remittance of N31,193,818:00 for 772 pilgrims. Only 123 pilgrims from Jigawa state failed to pay their Hadaya through Jaiz bank.
Officials of the state Pilgrims Welfare Board had earlier told IHR reporter that the state had complied fully with the directive of NAHCON on Hadaya payment.
Zamfara remitted N31,113,005:00 for 770 pilgrims out of 1, 885 pilgrims. Bauchi state with 1,985 pilgrims remitted N30,506,907:50 for 755 pilgrims.
Other states with low level of remittances include Osun 405 pilgrims, Sokoto 380, Kwara 363, Plateau 329, Nasarawa 323, Niger 229 and Oyo 193.
Others are Kogi 131, Kebbi 88, Adamawa 84, Yobe 58, Borno 34 and Lagos 19 pilgrims out of over 2, 000 pilgrims.
Rivers and Imo states had remittances for only 1 pilgrim each.
The rest of the states including Taraba, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu Cross Rivers, Bayelsa, Ondo, Ogun, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Benue made no remittance at all.
However, states like Jigawa and Katsina recorded the highest compliance rate for 2019 hajj payment remittance to Jaiz Bank.
This is the first part of Independent Hajj Reporter’s investigation series on 2019 hadaya project.