The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, on Wednesday defended the proposed sum of N1,074, 057,009.00 as personnel and overhead costs for 2020 fiscal year.
The NAHCON’s chairman, Abdullahi Mukhtar, made the defence on Wednesday before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa at Senate Conference Room 022.
A statement by the NAHCON’s Head of Public Affairs Division, Fatima Usara, said Mr Mukhtar explained that budget performance for 2019 remained at 36.62% by September 2019.
While breaking the figures down, Mr Muktar said the sub-total of approved budget for 2019 was N1,079,994,011.50 while the sub-total of budget released stood at N395, 447, 357.36.
According to him, the latter figure as well represents actual expenditure.
He, however, noted that the allocation covers only personnel and overhead costs “because all other operations of the Commission were independently sponsored through its Internally Generated Revenue, IGR.”
Mr Muktar explained that the IGR is expected to rise with the commission’s relocation to Hajj House, its permanent headquarters, formerly Metro Plaza.
On the proposed Hajj Savings Scheme, the NAHCON boss stated that the initiative was intended to be a multidimensional winning formula for pilgrims, the commission and federal government as well.
The chairman expressed optimism that with the scheme in place, in a few years to come, NAHCON would not need government’s funding for even personnel and overhead costs.
According to him, the commission would, instead, place its staff on a salary scale that would distract them from the revenue that would have accrued from the proposed investments.
Reacting, Mr Bulkachuwa commended the commission for moving into its “self-acquired office” while also seeking further justification on how the Commission intended to run the former plaza.
Mr Muktar, therefore, explained that while the commission occupies the main building, Annexes B and C would be put up for revenue generation to contribute a projected minimum of N70m yearly.
The senate committee chairman commended the leadership of the commission for the wonderful job since 2015, just as he expressed optimism that NAHCON is having a tenable vision for self-sustenance.
He, therefore, promised to recommend additional 5% allocation to what NAHCON already proposed as personnel and overhead costs for 2020 fiscal year.