The Zamfara State Hajj Commission on Monday said that it discovered N774 million as outstanding balance not refunded to 504 prospective pilgrims in the state from 2019 to date.
The Chairman of the commission, Alhaji Musa Mallaha, disclosed this in Gusau at the commission’s inaugural meeting Monday.
It was gathered that during the meeting, Mallaha presented appointment letters to the recently appointed five permanent commissioners and 18 part-time members to the commission on behalf of Gov. Dauda Lawal.
Mallaha further disclosed that from 2019 to date, the immediate past administration had not refunded N775 million to the 504 prospective pilgrims who deposited their money with the commission.
“This commission has been owing 504 intended pilgrims from across the 14 local government areas the sum of N775 million
The intending pilgrims were not able to complete payment for hajj seats from 2019 to date.
“You know, I was appointed by Gov Dauda Lawal as Amirul Hajj for this state in the 2022 hajj.
“Many people in this state have complained to me that they have deposited their money in the commission for pilgrimage over the years but not refunded.
“I complained to the governor, after my appointment as Chairman to this commission, the governor directed me to investigate the matter and ensure justice for everyone involved.
“We further discovered that the commission had 16 finance accounts in different banks, I requested office of the State Accountant-General to verify all the accounts after which we recovered N254 million.
“We further discovered that parts of the money deposited previously by the intending pilgrims had been used for free hajj tickets and renovation of state’s Hajj Camp by the immediate past administration.”
According to him, currently the commission had total balance of N92 million out of the outstanding N775 million to be paid.
He said the state government would continue with the investigation and make sure that justice was done to the matter.
“You know, government is a continuous process; I am therefore appealing to Gov. Dauda Lawal to pay all the intending pilgrims their rights,” Mallaha added. (NAN)