The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has expressed disappointment over the alleged refusal of some states to allocate slots to Hajj Saving Scheme (HSS) contributors.
The commission’s Deputy Director of Information and Publication, Malam Mousa Ubandawaki, stated this in a statement on Sunday in Makka, Saudi Arabia.
Ubandawaki said those who enrolled through the scheme are facing inconveniences in Kaduna, Gombe, Jigawa and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“These states have attributed their actions to NAHCON and Jaiz Bank’s purported failure to timely remit the funds to the respective state boards.
“We categorically state that such excuses are baseless and unfounded.
“It is pertinent to clarify that Jaiz Bank promptly remitted the HSS fares to the states well in advance of this year’s hajj.
“This was even before many state pilgrim boards remitted their payment.”
He added that NAHCON and States Pilgrims agencies had earlier resolved that the allocation of seats be in the ratio of 60/40 percent to pilgrims under State Boards and the Hajj Savings Scheme subscribers.
Ubandawaki particularly berated Kaduna State pilgrims agency for trying to blame NAHCON for its lapses.
He said that the pilgrims welfare board ought to have reserved 40 per cent of the seats allocated to it, which was 2,000, for the HSS.
“Even at this, only 108 of the 2,000 expected enrolled via the scheme in Kaduna state out of the 6,255 allocated to them.
“What is playing out lately is that some states have been doing everything to consistently undermine the Commission and the scheme in many ways.
“While the commission has continued to show patience and understanding with them, obviously because of the fact that a new scheme or policy takes time before it bears positive fruits.
“Unfortunately, this is not the case with some states who have continuously strove to defame and blackmail the Commission in their contempt for the board and some of its policies,” he said.
Ubandawaki emphasised that the information disseminated by the Kaduna State Pilgrims Board and others was not only false but also malicious intended to vilify and blackmail the commission and damage its integrity.
“We therefore want to first thank the numerous subscribers on the HSS for their faith and trust in the scheme.
“And appeal to those who have been unjustly denied the opportunity by the various pilgrims boards to remain calm and abide by the law,” he said.
He assured that the commission was working to deal appropriately with the issue and bring to book those bent on undermining the policy or denying the subscribers the right to participate in the Hajj.