OrderPaperToday – Senate President Bukola Saraki has revealed that the Senate would conclude the consideration of the report submitted by the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Operations of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) over allegations that the Commission is involved in the extortion of pilgrims.

The 34 page report submitted by the Ad-hoc Committee to the Senate last October revealed over-bloated onshore and offshore charges by NAHCON, levied on intending pilgrims. The consideration of the report was however suspended to allow for further investigations.

Speaking today through a point of order, the lawmaker who was first brought the matter to the floor of the Senate in June 2017, Senator Ibrahim Danbaba, refuted insinuations in the media that the Senate was trying to sweep the matter under the carpet.

His words: “The Senate may recall that on the 7th of June 2017 I raised a motion bordering on the extortion of pilgrims by the National Hajj Commission. This matter was brought before the Senate and referred to the (Senate) Committee on Foreign Relations. It submitted a report on the 26th of July and on the same date in 2017; an Ad-hoc committee was constituted to take on the matter.

“I was part of the Committee and we went to Saudi Arabia and conducted investigation into the matter and we reported our findings to the Senate. The report was laid and the consideration of the report commenced but it was not finalised and that gave rise to some columnists mentioning my name and that of (Senator Adamu) Aliero and the entire Senate accusing us of not allowing the report and that we were sponsored by some other people outside.”

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki in his response promised that the report will be slated for conclusive consideration.

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Damilola is a multiple award-winning Writer, Researcher, and Community/Sustainable Development Practitioner. His interests and experience span across media, academics, human capital development, and strategic planning. Damilola is the first Nigerian in history to win the blog4dev writing contest organised by the World Bank. Also, his writing on violent extremism and sustainable peace in Nigeria won a PeaceWriteNow prize, presented by the Embassy of Ireland in June, 2018. His works have been published in Nigeria and the United States of America, in English and in French. Damilola has also attended important meetings within and outside the African continent including the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C, USA. He was also a special guest on a panel discussion titled “How creative industry can help to stem fragility,” which was held at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington, D.C, USA. Furthermore, Damilola was selected as a Champion of Advocacy against extreme poverty and preventable diseases by ONE Campaign in May, 2019. An alumnus of the prestigious Lagos Business School and Federal University of Technology Akure, Damilola Adeniran represents Nigeria in the Youth Transforming Africa Program.


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