…Our economy not as bad as projected — Aregbesola 

The Osun Ministry of Home Affairs has revealed that the state recorded an over-subscription of the slots allocated to it by the National Commission on Hajj for the 2017 pilgrimage.

  According to the ministry, while the state was initially awarded 917 slots for pilgrims, the state demanded for an extra 48 slots which were also filled up by intending pilgrims from the state.

The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. Obawale Adebisi, disclosed this yesterday while speaking at a programme where Governor Rauf Aregbesola bade farewell to pilgrims performing this year’s hajj.

  A statement from the Office of the Special Adviser, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, quoted the Commissioner for Home Affairs as disclosing that pilgrims to Mecca paid the sum of N1,180,000 last year, but this year’s pilgrims are paying the sum of N1,548,153.43. The statement also noted that a total of 724 pilgrims performed hajj last year from the state while this year has recorded 1,065 pilgrims with the possibilities of other additions.

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Aregbesola, in a statement, noted that the development was a sign that the economy of the state was not as precarious as being painted to outsiders.

“I have been made to understand that some states even could not fill about one third of the slots given to them because their people have no capacity. But in Osun, where some of our traducers would want the world to think is in such a precarious and irredeemable economic situation, our people are able to sponsor themselves for this journey at a time the government has no capacity to sponsor a single pilgrim.

“This is to confirm that our interventions in the various spheres of people’s lives have been impactful and this economic independence is a major index. So, if you want to measure the results of our performance, this is one clear indication,” the governor said.

  Aregbesola also urged pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the state while performing hajj rites. He urged them to pray for peace of mind, better economic prosperity in Osun, peace in Yoruba land, Nigeria, and quick recovery of President Muhammad Buhari.