• Meets stakeholders for hitch-free operation
The Secretary, Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr. Saheed Onipede has sought the support and cooperation of the State’s Hajj and Umrah stakeholders for urgent remittance of the initial Hajj deposit of N4.5m for the 2024 exercise into the Board’s account.
Onipede made the plea on Wednesday during a meeting between the management and the stakeholders held in the Board’s conference room at the old Secretariat, Ikeja, Lagos.
Speaking on the December 2023 deadline given by the Saudi Arabian authority and National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) for payment of the N4.5m initial deposit by every intending pilgrim, Onipede stated that all hands must be on deck at ensuring that the state’s intending pilgrims make the payment in order to participate in the holy exercise and utilize the 3,517 slots allocated to the state by NAHCON.
While noting that all indications are pointing to the fact that the Saudi authority are very serious about the deadline to enable them plan effectively and efficiently for the guests of Allah, he urged the stakeholders not to leave any stone unturned at ensuring that intending pilgrims pay the Hajj fare promptly.
Onipede, in a statement signed by the Board’s Assistant Director (Public Affairs), Taofeek Lawal, commended their unwavering commitment to the successes recorded with previous operations by the Board.
He said, “I must appreciate you all for the steadfastness and commitment you placed on the previous operations. The commitment greatly impacted on the successes the state government has recorded with every operations.”
He therefore enjoined them to also be part of the public enlightenment and sensitization drives already embarked upon by the Board through regular announcement in the print, electronic and social media as well as visitation to Juma’at praying centres across the state for the purpose of marketing and attracting more patronages to the Board from the adherents residing within and outside the state.
In their response, the stakeholders unequivocally expressed their unflinching support and preparedness to work assiduously towards the success of the 2024 Hajj exercise.
Speaking on behalf of the Chairman, Imam Rabiu Olowo and other members, the Secretary, Alh. Dan-Azzez Lookman promised that the stakeholders would intensify efforts at encouraging the intending pilgrims who patronized the Board through them to do the needful as soon as possible.
While affirming that the astronomical increment in the Hajj fare, the rising dollar to naira exchange rate and the present economic situation of the country are the main issues affecting the intending pilgrims and other sponsors from effecting the payment as expected, he said that the stakeholders would go back to their clients and encourage them to start making the payment immediately.
Present at the meeting under the auspices of the stakeholders were Alhaji Abolore Gafar (Vice Chairman), Alhaji Imam AbdulAzeez Nurain (elder), Alhaji Muniru Ajibade (Assistant Secretary), Alhaji Khalifat Ayoub Kehinde (PRO), Alhaji Umar Takuchi (Treasurer), Alhaji Lawal Origbaajo (member), Alh. Hassan Kansara (member), Alhaji Sidi Jebe and Alhaji Taiwo Shakirudeen (elder).
Board’s members of staff that joined the the Board Secretary at the meeting included the Director (Operations), Mr. Shamsideen Akanni; Director, ICT, Mrs. Taiwo Durojaye; Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Taofeek Lawal and Head, Procurement, Mrs. Oluwa-Adegbola Khadijat. Also in attendance were Mr. Surajudeen Akinyemi (Operation II); Alh. Kamaldeen Zubair (Muazaza) and Mr. Musa Lawal (Admin. Officer).