Nigerian pilgrim returns lost $800 and other foreign currencies in Saudi Arabia

Malam Abba Limawa, 52, a Nigerian pilgrim from Dutse Local Government Area of Jigawa State, has returned 10,500 Russian rubles, $800 and 690 Saudi Riyals he found to the authority in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

The pilgrim handed over the different currencies on Wednesday in Makkah to the Executive Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Malam Jalal Arabi, during the post-Arafat conference.


The pilgrim explained that he found the money inside a waist bag while on his way to pray at the Masjid Haram (Mosque).


He said: “Initially, I wanted to ignore the waist bag and move to the Mosque, but on a second thought, I said it might belong to a Nigerian, especially some of our old women.


“So, I decided to pick it, and I proceeded to the mosque.


“When I returned to my accommodation, I opened the bag and discovered that there was no Nigerian currency and no sign that it belonged to a Nigerian.


“Immediately, I approached an official from the Jigawa State Pilgrims Welfare Board, told them the story, and presented the money. They commended my honesty and said they would hand it over to NAHCON to ensure the owner gets it back.”


Arabi praised Limawa for his honesty, saying he “exemplified the character of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and promoted Nigeria’s image internationally”.


Arabi added that efforts to find the rightful owner of the money would continue.


Arabi also appreciated Nigerian pilgrims, state pilgrim welfare boards, NAHCON employees, independent tour operators, and other stakeholders for ensuring a “successful Hajj 2024”.


He described Hajj 2024 as a “successfully fought battle” and announced that there would be follow-up meetings in Nigeria to evaluate operations and identify areas of improvement.


“This will enable us to have a sincere post-mortem of what we did on the battlefield and improve on the success recorded,” he added.


He apologised to the stakeholders and pilgrims for any shortcomings in the hajj operations and appealed for forgiveness.


“We can only try, no one is perfect,” Arabi said.


The NAHCON Chairman also announced that Saudi authorities released the official calendar for Hajj 2025 on June 18.


He added that country quotas and visa processing policies will be announced soon, while encouraging stakeholders to pay close attention to developments for a smooth and successful Hajj 2025.

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