From, Sani Gazas Chinade, Damaturu
Yobe Hajj Commission (YOHC) has returned N700 million deposits to 557 intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
The refund of pilgrims’ deposits, were made for the restriction of 60, 000 pilgrims to perform this year’s hajj over COVID-19 pandemic.
While announcing the refunds in Damaturu, the Executive Chairman of commission, Alhaji Bukar Kime disclosed: “the refunds represents N700 million as of August 11, 2021.
He said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had earlier cancelled the 2021 Hajj exercise for International Pilgrims including Nigeria.
Kime noted that the cancellation of 2021 hajj was to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic that claimed four million lives globally. He therefore urged intending pilgrims wishing to make deposits for the 2022 Hajj exercise to be patient.
“The Commission is awaiting further instructions and guidelines from the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).
“I advised intending pilgrims, especially low-income earners, to open a savings account with the newly established Jaiz Bank, Damaturu,” he said.
According to him, the bank is a non-interest bank; which partners with NAHCON because it operates under Islamic banking principles, adding that “civil servants, small scale traders, artisans and other low-income earners can leverage on the opportunity to open an account with the bank and save their Hajj fares in installments,”
He said that Governor Mai Mala Buni supported the commission morally and financially in discharging its responsibilities for the intending pilgrims from the state.
The Executive Chairman called on the general public to pray for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Your prayers could fast track the resumption of normal hajj exercises in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.