Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Agency Lauded for $50 Refund to Pilgrims -Frontline News

By Zakari Haruna - Kaduna

The Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR) has praised the Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Agency for its transparency and commitment to its pilgrims by refunding $50 to each pilgrim who paid for Hadaya, following a favorable price review from the company engaged to slaughter animals on their behalf.

The commendation was announced on Sunday in Makkah via a statement by IHR, a civil society organization focused on Hajj and Umrah affairs. The statement highlighted the agency's exemplary conduct in managing Hadaya services and maintaining openness about the costs involved.

The decision to refund the pilgrims was made public recently by Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Rabiu Dabo (rtd), a board member of the Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Agency and chairman of the Hadaya Committee. He detailed that the pilgrims would receive their refunds either in Saudi Arabia or Nigeria, based on their preferences.

In the IHR statement, Ibrahim Muhammed stressed the importance of transparency in handling Hadaya services, which involves the ritual slaughtering of animals during Hajj. The organization noted that the open disclosure of costs and the subsequent refund by the Kaduna agency set a positive example for other states to follow.

"Transparency in handling pilgrims' funds, especially regarding Hadaya services, is crucial. Pilgrims deserve to know the actual expenditure on their behalf, whether it's more or less than what they were charged by the committees set up by various States' Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards. Such openness fosters trust and confidence among the public and prospective pilgrims," the statement read.

IHR pointed out that while some states charge higher fees for Hadaya, few provide clear accounting or refunds when there are favorable price adjustments. The Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Agency's decision to refund $50 to about 700 pilgrims, who had paid ahead of their trip to Saudi Arabia, was commendable act, especially given the impact of foreign exchange differentials.

"We are aware that some states charge higher than Kaduna state to undertake Hadaya for their pilgrims, but we are yet to hear of any form of public announcement on how much was involved or refund," the IHR statement noted.

Alhaji Dabo, during his announcement, explained that the committee's careful negotiations led to a reduced price for Hadaya services, which facilitated the refund. The agency's proactive measures in ensuring fair pricing and transparency were recognized as a model for others to emulate.

"We urge all officials to emulate the example set by Kaduna State and refund pilgrims if there is any downward review of the price of rams purchased for their pilgrims. Doing so will earn you rewards more than you can imagine," IHR added.

The agency's actions reflect a commitment to ethical governance and responsible stewardship of pilgrims' resources, ensuring that they receive value and transparency for the services provided during their spiritual journey.

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