June 6, 2023

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi, has frowned at NAHCON for the dwindling number of pilgrims granted Lagos State and said it will not be acceptable under his oversight, any reduction in pilgrims while that of Kano and other northern states had maintained upward trend despite the dwindling national economy.

The Commissioner made the protest while on a working visit to the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, LSMPWB, with the view to elicit the challenges of the board and to jointly brainstorm for the solution.

He took a swipe at the 2500 slots granted Lagos State by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, saying that Lagos State had several years ago, successfully airlifted over 4000 pilgrims and as such, the commissioner vehemently rejected the current quota and charged the board’s Secretary to ensure the narrative changes before airlifting commences.

He charged the board to employ modern management strategy of partnership and collaboration and reach out to organizations such as the Lagos State House of Assembly, Chairmen of Local Government and Local Council Development Areas and other Ministries/Departments/Agencies of government with a top-notch Memorandum Of Understanding, MOU, on service level delivery they would find irresistible but would rather flow along with the board in all the paraphernalia for the pilgrimage

He charged the board’s leadership to be at its wits end in attracting prospective pilgrims through adequate information especially as to the quality of accommodation that will be reserved for them in Mecca and Medina, quality of transportation and the top-notch health program that would be at the disposal of the pilgrims.

The Commissioner emphasized on adequate and well arranged information as very crucial to arouse the interest of prospects in the exercise while critical information at the right time, would enable pilgrims to make the best of their stay in Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, while given his stewardship when welcoming the commissioner to the board’s office complex, the Executive Secretary, LSMPWB, Mr Rahman Ishola, said NAHCON merely granted the board 2500 slots, for the current year’s pilgrimage, but the board had sold over 1,500 forms since its commencement. He, however, added that the state might request for additional slots if it exhausts the initial 2,500 forms given.

He further notified the Commissioner that part of the strategies put in place by the board to get patronage includes but not limited to sensitization of the public through placement of advertisement/ jingles in both print and electronic media, distribution of handbills/fliers, meeting stakeholders directly in the Local Government & Local Council Development Areas of the State as well as visiting religious Organisations and Mosques across the state.

Mr. Ishola appealed to the Commissioner for assistance on the challenges facing the board which include inadequate office accommodation and furniture.

The Commissioner was accompanied on the visit by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry Of Home affairs Mrs. Adebunmi Adekanye and other top officials of the Ministry.

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