Kaduna State Governor, MalamNasir Ahmad El-Rufai, yesterday claimed that he has saved about N221.81million from his decision to ban government sponsorship of hajj pilgrimage in the state.
However, the governor said the government is sponsoring only 116 officials for the 2015 hajj exercise to support the 5,682 citizens of Kaduna State going for the Holy Pilgrimage.
El-Rufai in a statement from his Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, said the decision was part of the processes his government has initiated to re-organise the way the pilgrimage is conducted, stressing that the state contingent has been selected as the first to be flown to Saudi Arabia this year.
Governor El-Rufai also clarified that stopping government sponsored hajj will not in any way affect the desired care for the over 5,000 pilgrims from the state.
“This year, 5,682 citizens of Kaduna State will be going on the Hajj. The pilgrims will be supported by 116 officials.
“The government reiterated that it has completely eliminated the concept of government-sponsored pilgrims.
The government, however, clarified that not sponsoring pilgrims is not the same thing as not providing care while on the hajj for citizens of Kaduna State who are paying their own way.
The government recognises its duty to provide officials who will cater for the spiritual and welfare needs of the pilgrims.
Therefore, the government will discharge its obligation to the pilgrims and send a delegation of guides, preachers, medical personnel, media professionals and pilgrim officers.
“The Ameer of BirninGwari, AlhajiZubairu Jibril, who is the 2015 Ameer-ul-Hajj, will lead the official delegation.

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