Chairman/CEO of the National Hajj Commission, (NAHCON), Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan has sought the assistance of the Lagos State Government for the completion of the Akowonjo-Alimosho Hajj Camp, saying the camp has remained in its present status because of lack of fund.
He made the appeal on Monday, during an inspection visit to the Camp.
Alhaji Hassan stressed that what NAHCON has been able to accomplished so far on the camp, was achieved through the development levy being collected from every intending pilgrim from the states in the South West which include Lagos, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Edo as well as the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Private Tour operators.
While pleading with stakeholders not to allow the project to be moribund, he said that the development levy which is the major source of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the agency was initially fixed at N5, 000.00 but has now been reduced to N3,000.00 on each intending pilgrim.
The inspection visit by the NAHCON Chairman to the Akowonjo hajj camp was his first official assignment in Lagos state since his appointment by President Muhammadu Buahari.
During the inspection visit, the Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi appealed to NAHCON to give all the State’s Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards the right to generate revenue internally in order to have enough fund to effectively execute the hajj operation in their respective states.
Elegushi maintained that by availing the State’s Muslim Boards the opportunity of generating revenues internally, they would be financially buoyant to carry out hajj operations without putting much burden on their respective State governments, adding that by reducing the huge expenses usually being incurred by the states during hajj operation, the state governments would be able to channel the fund to other equally important projects that will be beneficial to the generality of the people.
While hailing the NAHCON Chairman and his management team on his effort so far in improving hajj administration in Nigeria, Elegushi urged the management to consider building an Islamic Centre on the expanse of land where a standard Muslim school could be established to cater for the children of Muslims residing in the Alimosho Local Government and its environs while the already completed structures could be converted to hostel for the admitted students. He added that such legacy if established would bridge the gap of shortages of standard Muslim schools in the area and serve as a source of revenue generation for the organization.
He also advised NAHCON management to commercialize the Multi-Purpose hall in the camp with a view to renting it out to interested individuals/organizations for the staging of Islamic occasions and events. He stressed that any individual/organization applying to use the hall must be made to obey lay down rules and regulations in line with Islamic injunctions.
Lagos State officials at the inspection tour with the NAHCON team includes; Hon. Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Pharm. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic Affairs, Alh. Ahmed Abdullahi-Jebe, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr. Rahman Ishola and Head of Operation, Mr. Kamal Zubair.