Bauchi government pledges to give priority to first-time pilgrims to Mecca

The State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board’s Executive Secretary, Aliyu Suleiman, said at a one-day induction workshop for the newly appointed Hajj Affairs officers in Bauchi

Hajj pilgrims at the airport

The Bauchi State government has vowed to give priority to first-timer intending pilgrims in the sale of seats for the 2015 Hajj.

According to Daily Independent, in the government's priority provision, 80 per cent of the seats envisaged to be over 3,000 based on National Hajj Commission allocation will be sold to the first-timers.

The State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board’s Executive Secretary, Aliyu Suleiman, said at a one-day induction workshop for the newly appointed Hajj Affairs officers in Bauchi on Monday that the priority placement for the pilgrimage first-timers is to enable the intending pilgrims who have the means but were not opportune to perform the hajj to do so.

Alhaji Suleiman warned the Hajj Desk officers against diverting the hajj seats meant for the people of their areas, assuring that they would strictly be monitored to ensure compliance to the guidelines.

It was gathered that he said the guidelines for hajj fee collection stipulates the payment of a minimum deposit of N700,000, pending the announcement of the full package by the Federal Government, and the use of pick and obey method while selling the hajj seats.

Other guidelines, according to him, include consideration of first-timers, non-proxy presentation of e-passport, 12 copies of passport photographs and indigene certificate or introductory letter from the organisation or employer of the intending pilgrim or a recognised traditional ruler.

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