The Oyo State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board is yet to begin refund of 2020 Hajj fare to intending pilgrims following the cancellation of the exercise by Saudi Arabia due to COVID-19 pandemic.
However, addressing newsmen on Tuesday in Ibadan, the Chairman of the Board, Prof. Sayed Malik, said their deposits were intact and safe for the 2021 Hajj.
Mr Malik explained that intending pilgrims wishing to get their deposits back were permitted to request for refund by applying in writing to the board.
The chairman said that the ban on foreign pilgrims was to curb the spread of coronavirus in Saudi Arabia, considering the large number of people that usually perform the Hajj.
“Looking at the global pandemic caused by Covid-19 and the decision of the Saudi Government to stop foreign pilgrims from taking part in the 2020 Hajj, we want to assure pilgrims from Oyo State that have made deposit for the exercise that their money is intact with us.
“If anybody wants to collect his or her money, all he needs to do is to write to the board, but if he want to keep it with the board till 2021 Hajj, we will still keep the money for him,” he said.
Mr Malik appreciated the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, under the leadership of Kunle Hassan for its numerous efforts towards the success of 2020 Hajj operation before the cancellation.
He urged residents of the state to join the government in its efforts towards fighting the Covid-19 pandemic by observing all medical advise, to avert the spread of the deadly virus.