Hajj refunds: CSO lauds Katsina, Kano for ‘adopting transparent model

The Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), a civil society orgainsation that reports Hajj activities, has commended policies adopted by Katsina and Kano states Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards for the payment of refunds for Hajj 2020/2021 to intending pilgrims.

The commendation was contained in a statement issued by its national coordinator, Malam Ibrahim Muhammed, on Friday in Abuja.

The statement read in part, “IHR is particularly impressed by the display of open transparency in paying back the intending pilgrims of Hajj 2020/21 by Katsina and Kano states Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards.

“It is noteworthy that Katsina and Kano states were not in the first batch of states where FoI letter was sent to, yet the leadership of the both boards promptly released details of Hajj 2020 and Hajj 2021 refund exercise to the general public.

“Katsina state pilgrims board adopted pre-verification method by pasting names of pilgrims and amount they paid in each zonal office prior to effect the refunds – a measure meant to discourage shortage of payment, while Kano state constituted refund monitoring committee that comprised security agencies, media and representatives of the state government.”

It read further, “Secondly, the executive director of Katsina state Pilgrims Welfare, Alhaji Suleiman Nuhu Kuki, had on August 20, released details of its refunds to the general public through a press conference.

“Therefore, Katsina state Muslim Pilgrims Board demonstrated openness for highlighting the number of registered pilgrims for Hajj 2020 and Hajj 2021, gave details of amount refunded to pilgrims in three batches, numbers of pilgrims that were refunded, and established different committees to oversee the refunds and submitted separate reports as per each batch.

“Again, the Kano state Muslim Pilgrims Board began payment of refunds immediately Hajj 2021 was cancelled and periodically gave updates on numbers of pilgrims that applied for refund, numbers of those refunded, amounts and exact number of pilgrims that rolled over their deposits. Such displays of transparency deserve our commendation.”