Lagos State Government has disclosed that the ban on pilgrims sponsorship to Saudi Arabia for Hajj and Jerusalem, has aided it to save N2.4 billion, previously spend on such expedition.
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr Abdul-Hakeem Abdul-Lateef, who disclosed the huge fund saved by the government after the ban last year, said that the fund has been deployed to provide infrastructures to improve standard of living in the state.
He noted that before the ban, hundreds of pilgrims were sponsored by the government to both Saudi Arabia for Hajj and Jerusalem for Christian pilgrimage.
His words: “both directly and indirectly, the government has been able to save about N2.4 billion from being wasted on such expenditure and has been deployed to provision of infrastructural facilities in the transformational agenda of the state government.”
Speaking on the enumeration of Churches, Mosques and Religious Organisations across the state, AbdulHakeem, said that the Ministry was presently imputing data of every place of worship located in the State on a centralised database.
According to him, “This is to allow the State Government has a reliable data of churches, mosques and their locations, with a view to carrying them along with state Government policies.
“It is expected that the policy, because of effective resource allocation and efficient management inherent in it, will bring and extend benefits to many more churches and mosques in the State. At present, the website has over 10,000 data of both Moslem and Christian Religious Organisations across the State.”
To ensure the sustenance of peaceful co-existence among residents irrespective of their ethnic and religious persuasion, the Commissioner said that the government has continued to operate, citizens participatory, strategic communication approach, a creative and complementary mix of public enlightenment campaign, sensitization, mobilization, advocacy and media/publicity campaign, with in-built feed-back mechanism, which have had, and are still having, desired effective impacts sand outcomes.