5 February 2018

Nigeria: Hajj Commission Proposes N1.56 Billion for 2018

Abuja — The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has proposed the sum of N1.56 billion for its 2018 budget estimates, with N617. 4 million as overhead and N344.7 million as personnel cost.

Presenting the budget estimates to Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Executive Chairman of the agency, Mr. Abdullahi Mukhtar, said the 2017 N1.57 billion appropriation, recorded a 58 per cent performance.

He listed several challenges affecting the operations of the Hajj Commission and sought the legislative intervention of the joint committee in relevant areas.

The committee Chairman, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, said the members would assess the documents submitted to them, and continue the budget consideration next week.

"We need to appraise them for 2017 even though we did some oversight. But we believe that there are things we need to ask some questions from them. They submitted the proposal and we are taking it back to different offices to look into the document submitted.

"We will then look at the estimates for last year and our oversight that we did so that they will be able to justify how they spent money and the reason why we need to consider for 2018," Sunmonu said.

In another development, Mr. Sam Melaye has been inaugurated as the Chairman of National Assembly Legislative Forum, following the resolution of the crises which rocked the association for several months.

The association's election in March 2016 had ended in disagreement, resulting in the emergence of two factions and two Chairmen; Mr. Sam Melaye and Mr. John Udeh.

Speaking after he inaugurated the new executive, the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr. Mohammed Sani-Omolori, said the division lingered due to a need to thoroughly investigate the crisis and permanently resolve it.

He added that the investigations revealed the valid outcome of the elections, adding that the National Assembly management has formally recognised the Melaye-led executive.

"Why the issue has not been resolved before now was due to the fact that security agencies and a team of legal experts were deployed to look into the issues that led to the division," Omolori said.

Melaye in a brief address, said the forum would soon be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to enhance its engagement with the management of the National Assembly, and the relevant bodies.

He also reiterated his commitment to protecting the interests and welfare of the members of the forum.

"Our commitment is to uniting all members and protecting the collective interest of the National Assembly Legislative Aides, as diligent service to our bosses can only be achieved when the members work in unity," he said.


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