Borno State Government on Tuesday said it had spent about N500 million on accommodation and welfare of its pilgrims to this year’s hajj, deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Zannah Umar Mustapha, has said.
The deputy governor, who is the leader of the state delegation to the holy pilgrimage (Amirul Hajj), said the state government spent the money in other to make available suitable accommodation for the pilgrims and to solve any other problem concerning their welfare.
Mustapha who spoke to journalists from Saudi Arabia said the state government was glad that the spending was worthwhile as the pilgrims had memorable time during the hajj exercise.
He noted that the N500 million was expended in providing befitting accommodation to enable the state pilgrims perform their hajj rites successfully in Saudi Arabia, with the government providing the Basic Travel Allowance (BTA) to all pilgrims from the state.
He revealed that the state government gave out 300 Saudi Riyals to each of the 2,645 pilgrims as subsidy for slaughtering of sacrificial rams.
He said plans have been put in place to make the return back to the country equally exciting even as the appeal to the federal government to reopen the Maiduguri International Airport.
He said: “This is to avert the difficult situation the state found itself especially, the risky movement of pilgrims from Maiduguri to Jigawa and Kano for this year’s airlift to holy Land.”
Mustapha said despite the prevailing security challenges in the state, the Shettima led government has remain steadfast in ensuring hitch-free hajj in the last four years.
He praised both Jigawa and Kano governors, Sule Lamido and Rabiu Kwankwaso for the great assistance offered during the airlift of Borno Pilgrims from then airports in their states.