Commissioner Advocates Revenue Generating Rights For State Muslim Pilgrims Boards
The Honourable Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi has appealed to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to give all the State’s Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards the right to generate revenue internally in order to have enough fund to effectively execute the hajj operations in their respective States. Elegushi made the appeal during an inspection visit by the management of NAHCON, led by the Chairman/CEO, Alhaji Zikrullahi Kunle Hassan to the Hajj Camp in Akowonjo, Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State. The Commissioner maintained that by availing the State’s Muslim Boards the opportunity of generating revenues internally, they would be financially buoyant to carry out hajj operations without putting much burden on their respective State governments. He added that by reducing the huge expenses usually being incurred during hajj operations, the State governments would be able to channel the fund to other equally important projects that will be beneficial to the generality of the people. While applauding the NAHCON Chairman and his management team on their efforts towards improving hajj administration in Nigeria, Elegushi urged the management to consider building an Islamic Centre to cater for the children of Muslims residing in the Alimosho Local Government Area and environs on the hajj camp, stressing that such legacy would bridge the gap of shortages of standard Muslim schools in the area and serve as a source of revenue generation for the organisation. The Commissioner also advised NAHCON management to commercialise the Multi-Purpose Hall in the camp with a view to renting it out to interested individuals/organisations for the staging of Islamic occasions and events, noting that any individual/organisation applying to use the hall must be made to obey laid down rules and regulations in line with Islamic injunctions. Earlier in his speech, the NAHCON Chairman/CEO, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan sought the assistance of the Lagos State Government for the completion of the Akowonjo-Alimosho Hajj Camp, saying the camp has remained in its present status because of lack of funds. He stressed that what the Federal Government’s agency has been able to accomplish so far on the camp, was achieved through the development levies being collected from every intending pilgrim from the States in the South West which include Lagos, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Edo as well as the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Private Tour operators. While pleading with stakeholders not to allow the project go moribund, he said that the development levy which is the major source of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the agency was initially fixed at N5,000 but has now been reduced to N3,000 for each intending pilgrim. Top Lagos State officials present during the inspection tour include the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Pharm. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf; Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic Affairs, Alh. Ahmed Abdullahi-Jebe; Executive Secretary, Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr. Rahman Ishola and Head of Operations, Mr. Kamal Zubair.