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Sanwo-Olu Covers $186,800 Travel Allowance Shortfall For Hajj Pilgrims

About 1,868 pilgrims had experienced a $100 shortfall each due to fluctuations in forex rates



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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has allocated approximately $186,800 to cover the shortfall in the Basic Travel Allowance (BTA) for Hajj pilgrims from the state, News About Nigeria reports.

The announcement was made by the Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Olanrewaju Layode, during an address to the fifth and final group of departing pilgrims on Saturday.

In a statement signed by the ministry’s Assistant Director of Public Affairs, Taofeek Lawal, it was revealed that about 1,868 pilgrims had experienced a $100 shortfall each due to fluctuations in forex rates.

The BTA had initially been set at $500 per pilgrim but was later reduced by the Nigerian Central Bank (CBN) and the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) after some pilgrims, particularly those in the second batch, had already received their full allowances.

Layode explained that Governor Sanwo-Olu’s decision to cover the shortfall was to alleviate the concerns of the pilgrims, who had deemed the reductions “unfair and unacceptable.”

The statement read, “Honourable Layode, who is also the Amir-ul-Hajj, told the pilgrims that immediately the attention of Mr. Governor was drawn to the development, he, in his kind-heartedness and magnanimity, approved the payment of the $100 shortfall for each of the 1,868 pilgrims, pending the resolution of the matter by both NAHCON and the CBN.”

Layode also stated that Governor Sanwo-Olu remains committed to his promises. 

He confirmed that the governor would cover the cost of the Hadaya (sacrificial) ram, ensure visitation to historical sites in both Madinah and Makkah, and provide monetary compensation for Ihram clothing.

He urged the pilgrims not to pay anyone for these items.