Kano revokes sponsorship of Hajj pilgrims



DETERMINED to ensure sanity and plug resource linkages, Kano State Pilgrims Board yesterday maintained that the embargo on sponsorship of pilgrims by the government was fully in place.

Unlike the previous practice where families, friends and associates of politicians were sponsored on free Hajj trips courtesy of the state government, the board stated that except for those on specialized operations, government would no longer support this.

Executive Secretary of the board, Mallam Abba Yakubu, who told journalists that the board uncovered N1.5 billion spent by the last administration on free trips to the holy land, regretted that such resources could have be used for provision of social infrastructure.

Abba insisted that spiritual obligation such as Hajj was only mandated for Muslims who are financially capable, noting that limited number of professionals including the media, health workers, Islamic clerics, environmentalists, men of hisbah board and staff of the pilgrims board have been shortlisted for the 2015 operation. Meanwhile, the executive secretary posited that government has approved N240 million to subsidise the accommodation of pilgrims from the state in the holy land.

“Government has stopped sponsorship of pilgrims in Kano due to malpractice and fraud that characterized the system. We discovered that previous government spent over N1.5 billion on this. They turned the process to a jamboree where some people made a lot of money,” he stated.

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