Prof. Sayed Malik, the chairman of the Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board, has told the State’s intended pilgrims who missed the 2022 Hajj that the Board is ready to refund their travel expenses.
He also reaffirmed that people who do not want their money back will be given priority the following year.
He said this yesterday in his office in Olodo, Ibadan, when addressing press on the 2022 Hajj report.
Therefore, the Chairman said that the Board has started paying customers who want their money back in full, without making any initial cost deductions for their immunization, clothes, luggage, or other expenditures.
“The Executive Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has graciously approved the payment of full money without any deduction to whoever among them that intends to collect his/her money”, he said.
“His Excellency has also directed that those who want to use their money for the 2023 Hajj would be the first to be considered for the exercise, Prof. assured.
Prof. Malik further stated that all pilgrims who traveled with the Board for the Hajj exercise will receive a reimbursement of any unused cash from the 2022 Hajj fare.
Then he invited the pilgrims to come see the Account Section of the Board and pick up their money along with their receipts.
“All the pilgrims who performed the 2022 Hajj with the Board should come to Olodo Hajj Camp with their receipts for processing of the amount of money to be refunded.”
“Our Account Department is confirming the amount remaining, after deducting all their expenses. Whatever is remaining would be given to each pilgrim”, he said
Prof. Malik noted that there were hitches in this year’s Hajj exercise but pledged that such hitches would not be allowed to re-occur in 2023.
“Lessons were learnt in this year’s Hajj exercise. And these lessons will be put to use in the planning of next year’s exercise. I want to assure you that we will block all loopholes noticed in the 2022 hajj. In sha Allah, 2023 Hajj will be better in terms of planning and arrangements”, Professor Malik said.
He explained that, while the Board was absolved of responsibility for the regrettable phenomena that this year’s Hajj suffered, “The shortcomings were not unique to Oyo State as intended pilgrims in other States of the Federation also encountered them. In some other states, the issues were actually worse. For this reason, the State Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards and the Tour Operators received an apology from the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).”
However, despite certain difficulties encountered prior to the exercise, Professor Malik claimed that this year’s Hajj exercise was successful.
“I am happy to inform you that the 2022 Hajj exercise was eventually successful”
“In spite of the initial hiccups caused by the Saudi Authorities’ strict anti COVID 19 protocols and the haphazard arrangements of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), the hajj exercise was a success.
“Apart from the fact that the initial hitches were solved, there was no record of any casualty among the Oyo State Pilgrims throughout the period of the holy pilgrimage. All the Six hundred and Forty-One (641) pilgrims who performed the 2022 Hajj in Makkah returned safely”, affirmed by the Prof.
He added that “all the pilgrims were given their Basic Traveling Allowances (BTA) in full. The initial complaints of a very few of the pilgrims were addressed as none of them was owed”.
The Board Chair charged those that have passports with the Board and have intention to use it for another important thing, to come for it.
“All intending pilgrims who left their passports with the Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board should come to Hajj Camp, Olodo to collect them
Malik was full of thanks to the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde for the massive supports given to the Board by providing all the needed resources to ensure a smooth and hitch-free exercise.
“The success recorded in this year’s Hajj could not have been possible if not for the support we enjoyed from His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde. We therefore express our sincere gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to His Excellency for the timely and invaluable moral and financial supports he gave to the Board.
“We are also grateful to the members of the Government Delegation under the able leadership of the Hon. Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun as well as the Head of Service, Alhaja Amidat Ololade Agboola for thier immense contributions to this year’s Hajj exercise”, he concluded.