The Bauchi State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board (BSMPWB), says it has initiated a refund of the 2020/2021 Hajj deposits to intending pilgrims in the state.
Alhaji Abubakar Tafida, the Executive Secretary of the Board, disclosed this on Thursday in Bauchi.
Tafida said the refund was necessitated following the ban imposed on Hajj exercise by the Saudi Arabian authorities, as part of measures to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) informed the boards that Nigeria and other countries had been banned from performing the 2021 Hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia.
The Secretary said the Board had commenced the refund on June 7, adding that intending pilgrims could either apply for the refund or maintain their deposits till the 2022 Hajj exercise.
“Intending pilgrims that have their money in our coffers, including those for the year 2020 who rolled over to 2021, are at liberty to apply for the refund.
“They will write an application and support it with relevant documents.
“However, any pilgrim that does not wish to collect his or her money is at the liberty to save it in our coffers for next Hajj exercise,” he said.
He said that only 50 of the 3,000 intending pilgrims in Bauchi had so far applied for the refund of their deposits from the board.
He urged the people to pray for peace, stability and an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Saudi authorities had announced that the 2021 Hajj exercise would be limited to 60,000 vaccinated people from within the kingdom due to the coronavirus pandemic.