Governor El Rufai saves N221m for refusing to sponsor Hajj in Kaduna

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Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State on Saturday said the state has saved N221.81m on its decision not to sponsor pilgrims to the 2015 Hajj.

The governor, in a state broadcast, had said the state had stopped the sponsorship of hajj operations.

He said the state had to save resources to be able to address other pressing matters such as qualitative education and health care.

El-Rufai, through his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, in a statement added that the state was saving the said amount on the decision it had taken.

The governor said no fewer than 5,682 citizens of the state would attend this year’s Hajj, to be supported by 116 officials.

He named the Emir of Birnin-Gwari, Alhaji Zubairu Jibril, as the state’s Ameer-ul-Hajj(head of delegation) to the 2015 Hajj operation.

According to him, with this, the government has completely eliminated the concept of government-sponsored pilgrims from the state.

The governor, however, clarified that not sponsoring pilgrims was not the same thing as government not taking care of Kaduna State indigenes, who are paying their own way to the holy land.

He said: “The government recognises its duty to provide officials who will cater for the spiritual and welfare needs of the pilgrims.

“Therefore, the government will discharge its obligation to the pilgrims and send a delegation of guides, preachers, medical personnel, media professionals and pilgrim officers.

“The Kaduna State Government has given an update on the preparations to support pilgrims from the state to perform the Hajj smoothly.

“The government is saving N221.81m from the steps it has taken to reorganise the way pilgrimage is conducted.

“In recognition of this, Kaduna State has been selected as the state whose pilgrims will be the first to be flown out this year.

“This year, 5,682 citizens of Kaduna State will be going on the Hajj. The pilgrims will be supported by 116 officials..”
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