Overseer of the Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Board Overseer Imam Hussaini Tsoho has said that the board experienced low turn out in the sales of hajj seats for 2018 because sales commenced at a time when farmers were yet to harvest thier crops.
Speaking at a media briefing on the level of preparation for the 2018 hajj exercise, the overseer disclosed that out of the 6632 seats allocated to the state, only 1000 had so gar been sold.
He explained that in 2017 hajj, farmers had already harvested and sold their farm produce before the sales of haj seats commenced which resulted in large turnout that year unlike this year were farmers were yet to harvest before thw seats went out on sale.
He however pointed out that despite the low turnout of people coming to pay for the seats Kaduna still leads nationwide with a deposit of N800, 0000 per pilgrim.
He added that the board delayed the enlightenment exercise due to low turnout of people making deposit.
He added, “Last year we started collecting deposit from intending pilgrims when farmers harvested their farm produce which was not the case this year. This year we started collecting 800,000 as deposit too early when farm produce are yet to be harvested. This is why we witnessed low turnout during registration but despite the low turnout Kaduna still leads in terms of people making deposit for 2018 hajj exercise.”
He urged those who have been registered to ensure they participate in the enlightenment exercise and enjoined them to increase their deposit to N1.5 million.
On the State Government decision to ban sponsorship of hajj officials Imam Tsoho said” The government decision was in good faith because they see no reason why they will continue to sponsor people that will not add value to the pilgrims in the Holy land,” he said.
He explained further that only those whose presence add value to the intending pilgrims are taken to the holy land.
He commended the state governor Nasir El’Rufai for the support given to the board that enable them discharged their responsibilities diligently.