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Re: 2024 Hajj: NAHCON’s inability to pay service operators in Saudi Arabia puts pilgrims in limbo

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By Raliya Garba

A lot of noise is being made on government’s involvement in matters of 2024 Hajj. Only yesterday, 13th of March, Daily Trust newspaper raised eyebrows describing the fate of Nigerian pilgrims as being in limbo.

The situation painted by the paper causes concern considering the fact that the whole foreign exchange saga was caused by the same government most of us queued up to vote for.

In the story, reference was made to the N24 billion approved by the Tinubu led government to offset outstanding payments to airlines that transported Nigerian Muslim pilgrims to the 2023 Hajj.

READ ALSO: Ramadan Message: Let’s draw inspiration from perseverance, faith in Allah, NAHCON CEO tells Muslims

If this debt was incurred by government due to failure of government settle the airlines at the right time, it is now government’s burden to bear the brunt of its official’s none commitment to agreement.

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That money, we are made to understand, had been paid by pilgrims themselves but the fx differential changed the whole narrative. There is therefore no reason for Nigerians to keep making reference to the same funds because it was government’s responsibility.

Again government should take responsibility for it’s abrupt policy that caused a hike in the cost of virtually every item in the Nigerian market.

We are witnesses of government’s promise to intervene in the Forex matter for Hajj when some clerics visited the president and requested intervention in the fare. It is now its integrity to honor same promise after having changed the goal post in the middle of the game.

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Government should be sensitive to its citizens plight before making life changing policies or else find a way to cushion the negative effects of such changes thereby giving its followers room to adjust.

Hajj is an obligation for Muslims and those calling on government not to intervene in the hajj cost for 2024 are misleading the president. Give people time to adjust.

Government cannot claim inability to aid Muslims in the discharge of their religious obligation when it is flagrantly supporting the needless expensive governance style of our legislative arm.

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Yet when it comes to aiding the citizens that government pushed to the wall, some vocal few raise a biased outcry.

* Raliya Garba wrote from Kaduna

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