Sunday, July 15, 2015
An estimated N70B is expected to be spent this year by Nigerian governments on sponsoring pilgrims to the holy lands of Mecca and Jerusalem. This is to happen at a time when 23 out of the 36 states of the federation have been owing their workers salaries for months.
Governments paying for people’s travel expenses – including feeding and clothing – to the holy lands has, over the years, have been condemned by many well-meaning Nigerians. Such act started with leaders who prefer to play to the gallery, to at all cost “cajole the conscience” of people for selfish political reasons. While it is good for Nigerians to visit these holy places, the burden of their decision to make such trips should not be borne by the masses and generation unborn.
More worrisome are the facts that some of these pilgrims can afford to pay for their expenses, and that some make the trip as many times as they like; since they spend no dime on it, but rather make ‘profit.’
January 2017: The president today, in his New Year message disclosed that the government will henceforth not incur any expenses on pilgrimages. This followed the December abolishment of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission and National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, and their collapse into the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The directive, as backed up by the 1999 Constitution as amended, equally makes any state or local government funding of pilgrimage illegal for governors and local government chairmen.
It is estimated that the country would be saving about N90B this year. This amount, the president affirmed will be expended on Education, Agriculture and National Orientation.
Sunday, January 1, 2017
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