Tinubu Wastes N90Billion Tax-Payers Money To Subsidise Cost Of Nigeria’s Hajji Pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia


Calls for Redirecting Hajj Subsidy Funds to Domestic Agricultural Funding for Food Security

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Amidst rising concerns over the hike in pilgrimage fares, the Nigerian Government has disclosed an expenditure of N90 billion to subsidize the cost of the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage. Vice-President Kashim Shettima made this revelation during the inauguration of the 2024 National Hajj operation in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State.

Shettima highlighted the challenges posed by fluctuating foreign exchange rates, which led to difficulties in determining the final Hajj fare. However, efforts by President Bola Tinubu to stabilize the local currency eventually led to a reduction in the fare. Consequently, the government allocated N90 billion to ease the financial burden on pilgrims.

While emphasizing the meticulous selection of officials to oversee the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Shettima assured comprehensive monitoring of arrangements for pilgrims’ well-being. He reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring the safety, security, and comfort of Nigerian pilgrims during the Hajj.

Meanwhile, Nigerian Muslim pilgrims have expressed dissatisfaction with the increased pilgrimage fare, demanding refunds after being instructed to pay an additional N1.9 million. The commission’s decision to raise this year’s pilgrimage fare by N1,918,032.91, coupled with a deadline of March 28, 2024, has sparked discontent among potential pilgrims, prompting some to seek refunds.

Additionally, the Kwara State Pilgrims Welfare Board revealed that approximately 100 intending pilgrims from the state would miss the Hajj exercise due to their inability to afford the increased fare. This situation underscores the urgent need to reevaluate the allocation of funds, with suggestions to redirect resources towards domestic public agricultural funding to enhance food security and productivity.

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