Niger State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has promised to restructure the state Pilgrims Welfare Board.
The Governor stated this while receiving the 2017 Hajj report from the Amir -l- Hajj, Alhaji Shehu Umar Danyaya in Minna, the state capital.
Governor Sani-Bello said the need to restructure the pilgrims board was to bring efficiency, team work, ensure hitch free hajj operation and to mitigate all the challenges suffered by pilgrims to the Holy Land.
Governor Sani-Bello expressed dissatisfaction at the last hajj operation which he blamed on administrative laxity and lack of proper operational coordination, hence the need to restructure the board and ensure that qualified and experienced hands are charged with the responsibility of running future hajj operations.
“Before this official report, I got to know that the last hajj was not well coordinated. There was no synergy between coordinating officials, some of the officials personalized the operation. Officials were not staying on their lanes, rather some were personalising what should have been a team work.
” Hajj operations require a team work, but the last operation lacked such cooperation. Officials lacked understanding of one another. At the end, innocent pilgrims suffered because the board was not well coordinated. In order to guide against the last challenges, we need to restructure the board and look into the operation and the capacity of the board.
“If not for timely intervention, the state would have been sanctioned during the last hajj. It is our hope that when we effect the restructuring, what happened this year will not repeat it self again,” the governor stated.
The state Amir-l-Hajj, Alhaji Shehu Umar Danyaya said the 4,550 pilgrims from the state had a successful pilgrimage to the Holy Land, adding that there were no record of death or any of the pilgrim from the state implicated for criminal activities.
Danyaya who was the immediate past Secretary to the State government, also called for restructuring and capacity building for the board management for efficiency and service delivery in future.
In doing this the Amir-l- Hajj advised that the Executive Secretary of the board should be a career civil servant in order to effective translate and transmit the policies of the board.
He then expressed his team’s appreciation to the government for appointing them and recommended a two year term for Amirul Hajj team for a better operation of the religious obligation by faithful Muslims.