Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto
The Sokoto State Pilgrims Welfare Agency (PWA),Saturday said it had remitted over N1.6 billion to the National Hajj Commission ( NAHCON), for the 2016 Hajj exercise
The Director-General of the Agency, Alhaji Ibrahm Umar, made the disclosure during the commencement of the payment of N 159 million refunds to the 4,997 pilgrims from the state, who performed the 2015 hajj exercise.
He said the remittance was for 50 per cent of the 4,948 hajj seats allocated to the state by NAHCON, for the forthcoming hajj exercise.
According to him, all the seats had been allocated to the 23 local government areas in the state while efforts are on to collect the balance and remit same to the Commission.
On the refunds, Umar stated that 4,997 pilgrims who performed the 2015 hajj exercise from the state would benefit from the gesture.
He explained that the payment would be completed in three weeks while it would be conducted in three categories.
“The first category of refund is for 128 pilgrims who died in the Muna stampede and two others who were injured as a result of the stampede. In fact, the families of the deceased pilgrims and the injured ones will receive N 158,744 each,” he stated.
He further said the second category is for 76 pilgrims who paid for the fares and could not perform the hajj exercise, adding that they have the option of collecting their fares or a hajj seat for the 2016 hajj exercise.
In the same vein, the third category is for the 4,793 pilgrims who performed the hajj. He said this category of pilgrims will each receive N16,436, pointing out that the refunds were for some services not rendered during the 2015 hajj exercise.
The Director General emphasised that the services include tents, feeding at Muna, Jeddah and Medinah, as well as return ticket for the deceased pilgrims, among others.
Umar stated that the Agency had already set up various committees to ensure the success of the exercise across the state. He added that after the completion of the exercise, any uncollected money would be returned to NAHCON.