Tuesday, February 7, 2023


Cable Ads

Oyo clarifies as hajj pilgrims protest over part payment of travel allowance

Oyo clarifies as hajj pilgrims protest over part payment of travel allowance
June 27
23:43 2022

The Oyo government says it has not held back the basic travel allowance (BTA) of pilgrims from the state.

The pilgrims are currently in Saudi Arabia.

Earlier on Monday, a video circulated online in which a pilgrim, who identified himself as Abdullahi Olakanmi Akorede, said instead of $800 BTA, the pilgrims only got $200.

“Our BTA should be $800 but we were paid $200, leaving a balance of $600,” he said in Yoruba.


“I was asked to say we were fully paid, but that is what we were paid and I apologise. The food given to us is poor.”

Akorede appeared to be reacting to an earlier statement by the Oyo pilgrims board in which the pilgrims were said to have been paid their allowances.

While the chairman of the pilgrims board was not immediately available for comment, speaking on the development on Monday evening, an aide of the Oyo governor, who didn’t want to be named, said the balance was delayed over “shortage of dollars”.


“There is a press statement to that effect from Sayeg Malik, the chairman of the state pilgrims welfare board (Muslim wing),” the aide said.

“Malik, who was reacting to reports being circulated via online channels, said the reports were unfounded and far from the true situation of things at the state’s hajj camps in Saudi Arabia.

“He said it is not true in any way that the Oyo state pilgrims welfare board (Muslim wing) has diverted funds meant for the payment of BTA of the first batch of pilgrims from the state, who are currently in Saudi Arabia.

“The truth of the matter is that there were delays in the release of BTA to the board as a result of the late release of the circular guiding the payment of the allowances by the authorities in Abuja. This is not peculiar to Oyo state pilgrims, as all pilgrims across the states are faced with the same situation.


“As a result of the delay, the first batch of travellers from Oyo state and several other states of the federation had to embark on the trip to Saudi before the BTA could be secured. The delay, however, does not indicate that any of the travellers would lose their entitlements.

“By the time the second batch of travellers were leaving Nigeria, only a fraction of the entire BTA had been secured and it was concluded that each of the travellers be made to get $400, while those who were already in Saudi Arabia were paid $200 each, pending the release of the entire money by the Nigerian authorities.

“It must be placed on record that the dollar scarcity which had hit the foreign exchange market is a key contributor to the delay to secure the required BTA.

“While the delayed payment of the BTA is regretted, we have to place on record that there is no intention to divert anyone’s entitlement or deny any of the pilgrims their due. We make bold to undertake that each of the pilgrims will get what is approved for them in the course of the holy pilgrimage.


“The welfare of every pilgrim remains our utmost concern at all times.”



No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment