Hajj 2024: Kaduna agency refunds $50 to pilgrims

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By Yunusa Muhammad Abdullahi

Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Agency has promised to refund $50 to each of  its pilgrims, following the downward  price review from the company engaged to slaughter animals on their behalf.

Speaking to newsmen at Makkah on Thursday, Air Vice Marshall Muhammad Rabiu Dabo (rtd) a board member of the Agency who chaired the Hadaya  Committee, disclosed that the pilgrims will either be paid in Saudi Arabia or Nigeria, depending on their preferences.

AVM Dabo said 1,357 pilgrims  paid through the Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Agency but 700 pilgrims who paid in Nigeria are those who are  eligible for the refund.

 He further disclosed how his members  met about five  times, got input from everyone  on the way to go about the assignment and how it met with the companies that procured  and slaughtered  animals in Makkah.

Slaughtering rams or Hadaya is an important component of Hajj rites as pilgrims are expected to slaughter rams individually or contribute to buy a camel for slaughter.

 AVM Dabo recalled that Hadaya is one of the most complicated aspects of Hajj where pilgrims are often short changed, adding that that was ‘’why we took our time and negotiated with the companies.

 According to him, the committee members did not just allow the companies to procure the rams and slaughter them on their own ‘’but we went to the slaughtering house to see each ram ourselves before they were slaughtered.’’

 The Committee Chairman said that the first company they met with was ‘’a company owned by a Sudanese retired General Muhammad, who insisted that we pay 500 Riyals per ram, which translates to about N200,000, which is  $150.

 ‘’We argued that given the shortfall of the Basic Travelling Allowance that pilgrims were given $400 because of exchange rate that CBN applied, we pleaded that he should review it to 300 Riyals per ram to allow  pilgrims take care of other things .’’

 ‘’In the end, we got an Islamic Development Bank-accredited  company which agreed to collect 375 Riyals per animal. We were at the slaughter house to physically inspect the animals and saw them being slaughtered,’’ he added.

 AVM Dabo said that with this review, pilgrims that paid for their Hadaya through the Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Agency, will get a refund of about $50 each.

 The Committee Chairman lamented the activities of some staff of the Agency, who collude with Africans who live in Saudi Arabia, promising them a better price of Hadaya, adding that ‘’most of these pilgrims ended up being cheated.’’

 He advised that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria(NAHCON) should included the cost of Hadaya in the total Hajj package to protect pilgrims from these unscrupulous elements.

Yunusa Muhammad Abdullahi is the Public Relations Officerr, Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Agency.

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