NGSG Saves N1.5 B In 2016 Hajj Exercise

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By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna.
Niger State Government said it saved well over N1.5 billion in the conduct of this year’s pilgrimage by Muslims to Saudi Arabia through frugal management.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello said while receiving the report of the last pilgrimage to the holy land that the team that was raised by the state government to midwife the state’s contingent for the exercise was frugal enough as it conserved all expenditures to the barest minimum.
The Governor commended the efforts of 2016 Amirul Hajj for the prudent management of resources which led to curbing the cost by about 75 per cent reduction over the previous hajj exercises by the state.
Speaking at a brief reception while receiving the report on the exercise from the Amirul-Hajj at Government House, Minna, Governor Bello described the efforts by the team as unprecedented and commendable.
He said such careful and diligent management of resources was in tenderm with his administration’s mission to plug all loopholes and stop wastages of government resources through frugal and prudent management of resources.
He noted that though the State’s Pilgrims Welfare Commission was not yet in place, the team led by the Amirul Hajj was diligent and careful enough in ensuring wastages were curbed.
“Despite the absence of a properly constituted board at the State Pilgrim’s Welfare Commission, (NSPWC) the Amirul Hajj was able to save cost by utilizing less than N500Million as the against the over N2Billion spent in each of the previous years’ hajj exercises”.
The Governor expressed gratitude to the team led by the Amirul Hajj and the management and staff of the Commission for a good team work and especially in working to ensure a cost-effective and a very successful 2016 hajj exercise.
He assured that in no distant time a properly constituted board would be put in place for the NSPWC.
He promised that the state government would look into the details of report and address some of the challenges observed during the 2016 Hajj exercise so as to make future pilgrimages to the holy land much more easier.
Speaking earlier, the 2016 Amirul Hajj, General Idris Garba, (rtd), had advocated for a greater involvement of local government councils in the entire arrangements for future hajj exercise.
He suggested that the state government should have a unified estacodes system as well as to put in place a policy in the appointment or recruitment of Area Pilgrims Welfare Officers, (APWOs) to ensure that only knowledgeable and God fearing persons are brought into the system.

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