From Yakubu Mustapha Minna
The Niger State House of Assembly has expressed concern over the untimely release of funds for pilgrimages in the state.
This is as the House called for restrain by the state Governor Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello on the matter.
The members of the state assembly made the observation when the House received the 2017 Hajj report from the House Committee on Religious Affairs Chairman, Hon. Salihu Mohammed Tama representing Edati constituency.
He highlighted the report before the Assemble at plenary which included five observation and recommendations in both its internal and foreign operations of the 2017 hajj exercise.
The House urged the executive to consider and treat the issues of pilgrimages with utmost importance by ensuring that the approval given to the Board is backed up with funds and avoid unnecessary delays and timely operations.
It further advised that the Board should ensure that all money paid by the pilgrims are remitted immediately to the Nigeria Hajj Commission for early release of relevant documents like visa and others.
The House recommended that the appointment of Area Pilgrims Welfare Officers (APWOs) in the local governments must be from the civil service rather than political.
The Speaker, Hon. Ahmed Marafa Guni after due consultations by the lawmakers announced that the report will be deliberated by the House in another legislative session.
Meanwhile, the House also adopted the prayers of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Hon. Nura Garba (Kontagora 2) asking the executive arm of government to provide free medical services for pregnant women in government hospitals in the state.
The House, however, resolved and mandated its Committee on Health to invite relevant stakeholders for an interface on the alleged payments of medical bills in government facilities and report back its findings to the House within one week.