Gov Yusuf Approves N376m To Supplement Kano Pilgrims’ BTA  

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Kano State governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, has allocated N376 million to address the shortfall in Basic Travel Allowance (BTA) for the Saudi Arabia-bound pilgrims from the State.

The decision comes amidst the volatility of the foreign exchange rate, which has impacted the financial requirements for this year’s pilgrimage exercise.

A statement released on Tuesday by the Director General of Media and Publicity at the Government House, Kano, Sanusi Bature, explained that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) had initially set the BTA at $500 per pilgrim, using an official exchange rate of N1,250 to one US dollar. However, due to the weakening of the Nigerian currency, the exchange rate surged to over N1,500 to a dollar, creating a significant shortfall.

 

The statement revealed Governor Yusuf while addressing attendees during the annual pre-Hajj departure demonstration exercise on Monday, highlighted the financial discrepancy. He noted that without intervention, each pilgrim would face a shortfall of N121,000. To rectify this, the state government has approved supplementary funds, providing each of the 3,100 pilgrims from the State with an additional N121,000. The intervention totals N376,310,000.

 

Meanwhile, Governor Yusuf has appointed the Deputy Governor, Comrade Aminu Abdulsalam, as the head of the government delegation and Amir Hajj for the 2024 pilgrimage. The Deputy Governor is tasked with overseeing the welfare of the pilgrims, ensuring comprehensive provisions for food, accommodation, transportation, healthcare, and other necessities of the pilgrims.

 

Governor Yusuf-led administration has actively supported the pilgrims this year. Recall In April, the Governor released N500 million to subsidise a sudden increase in Hajj fare announced by NAHCON, which had risen to N1.9 million. This financial assistance aimed to alleviate the burden on the pilgrims and ensure their participation in the sacred journey.

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