The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has refuted all the allegations made by the Senate Aleiro led ad hoc committee on pilgrims accommodations, feeding, logistics, off-shore and on-shore.
The commission in its reply to the Senate on the allegation of fraud and misappropriation, maintained that the report of the ad hoc committee was unfair, urging the Senate not to allow the subjective view of a few individuals to derail the upper chamber from its onerous responsibility.
It will be recalled that Senator Adamu Aliero, chairman of the ad hoc committee presented a report before the senate during recently accusing NAHCON of “over bloated” charges.
Aliero said his committee discovered that the commission’s procurement processes were in not in line with the public procurement act.
According to NAHCON in its letter to the Senate said:, “The 34-page report presented on the floor of the Senate on Thursday 18th October, 2018, in our opinion, was not fair to NAHCON as none of its explanations featured or were considered in the report.
The commission also maintained that the report contains several ‘findings’ that are based on wrong information and wrong conclusions. “That NAHCON does not have procurement planning committee, plan or officers; That NAHCON issues dud cheques; that it rented houses in Makkah that are 5 to 10 km from the Haram; That certain countries pulled out from Saudi policy on traffic sharing; That NAHCON gives preferences to a company owned by a Nigerian; that NAHCON doubled transportation charge in Saudi Arabia from SR180 to SR360 and others too numerous to cite here are incorrect or misinformed assertions that can’t be proved or substantiated.”
On issues of procurement, NAHCON said it had duly observed all the provisions of the public Procurement Act in all aspects related to the appropriated or proposed appropriated funds. It stated that at every point in time there was a resident procurement officer deployed by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to the commission who headed the Commission’s procurement department, maintaining that all the Commission’s procurement processes followed due processes and the records are available for examination by all and sundry.
“In light of the foregoing, I wish to appeal to the leadership of the Nigerian Senate to consider the submission above while deliberating on the Ad hoc Committees Report. I also wish to draw the attention of this distinguished institution that some of the matters deliberated upon by the Ad hoc Committee are subjects of litigation before two FCT courts with reference FCT/HC/CV/3018/17 and CR/96/18. A third suit is before another court in Kano with no K/332/2017. Similarly, one of matters raised has a subsisting judgment from General Court of Makkah no 392776 delivered on 5th Muharram, 1439 AH..
“The Senate has established a reputation of being the vanguard of justice for Nigerians. It has upheld the highest standards of legislative practice and procedures. It must not allow the subjective view of a few to derail it from this onerous responsibility.
“The Commission still maintains that the increase in the 2017 Hajj fare was as a result of the rise in the exchange rate from NGN197 /1USD in 2016 to NGN305/1USD in 2017.
All we appeal for is fairness to all concerned as the report in its totality is unfair to the Commission, State Pilgrims Welfare Boards/Commissions/Agencies.