FG to sack agents collecting hajj fares

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According to reports, the Federal Government may abolish the use of agents to transport and provide other services to intending pilgrims to Mecca.

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This is against the backdrop of a series of complaints by pilgrims of some states, who alleged that some of the agents they patronised either short paid them in basic transport allowance (BTA) or failed to pay them.

Some pilgrims from Ekiti State complained to the Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, (NAHCON) Abdullahi Mohammed Mukhtar, during a post-Arafat visit to their camps in Mina for on-the-spot assessment of the facilities around the camps.

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Mukhtar directed the Ekiti Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board to discontinue the use of agents for collection of hajj fare.

The NAHCON boss told the pilgrims of the state in their Mina tent that the use of agents for the payment of hajj fare is illegal, hence the need to eliminate it.

He said no state uses agent and so the Ekiti board should stop the use of any intermediary. Some of the pilgrims complained that they were given $750 with the hajj fare of N1.2million instead of $1,000 as BTA.

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Mukhtar assured the pilgrims that NAHCON would work with Ekiti board to review the BTA and where it is found that the pilgrims were shortchanged, a refund of $250 would be made.

On complaints about accommodation, Mukhtar promised to investigate and where he finds out that their accommodation did not measure up to standard, they would be refunded part of the money paid.

Mukhtar asked the Chairman and Secretary of the Ekiti Board to come to his Makkah office along with complaints.

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