The Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Agency has announced its intention to refund $50 each to 700 pilgrims who had paid for animal sacrifices in Nigeria through the agency during the recently concluded 2024 Hajj.

Retired AVM Muhammad Dabo, the Chairman of the Hadaya Committee, disclosed this in a statement released in Kaduna on Thursday, as conveyed by the agency’s Public Relations Officer, Malam Yunusa Abdullahi.

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Dabo, who also serves as a Board member of the agency, clarified that the decision to refund the pilgrims followed a downward price adjustment by the company responsible for slaughtering the rams in Makkah.

Out of the 1,357 pilgrims who paid through the Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Agency, only those 700 who had paid in Nigeria were deemed eligible for the refund.

He emphasized the significance of the animal sacrifice, or Hadaya, in the Hajj rites, noting that pilgrims are expected to either individually slaughter rams or contribute towards the purchase of a camel for sacrifice.

Due to concerns of pilgrims being short-changed, a company was engaged to procure and slaughter the rams on their behalf.

Initially, the first company demanded 500 Riyals per ram, equivalent to about N200,000 or $150.

However, considering the shortfall in the Basic Travelling Allowance given to pilgrims (which is $400) due to the exchange rate applied by the CBN, the committee negotiated a reduction to 300 Riyals per ram.

Eventually, an Islamic Development Bank-accredited company agreed to slaughter the animals for 375 Riyals each.

Dabo assured that the committee ensured thorough oversight, visiting the slaughtering house to personally inspect each ram before slaughter.

As a result of this review, pilgrims who paid for their Hadaya through the Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Agency in Nigeria will receive a refund of approximately $50 each.

He also advised the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to include the cost of Hadaya in the total Hajj package to protect pilgrims from exploitation by unscrupulous elements.