Lagos state government southwest Nigeria says it has saved about four-point-five billion naira from non sponsorship of pilgrimages to the holy land in the last three years.
This comes following insinuations that the state has been spending tax payer’s money like the past government to send pilgrims to the holy land.
The State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Abdul Hakeem Abdul Lateef gave the figure while giving account of stewardship of his Ministry in the last one year to the journalists, as part of event to mark the three years in office of the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode in Alausa, Ikeja.
In the past, yearly, before the assumption of Mr Akinwunmi Ambode as the Lagos state governor, the state had spent an average of N1.5 billion to sponsored people, free, to the holy lands, but since he arrived, he has promised no to tread that path and he has not changed his mind.
What he will do is to provide for the welfare of the pilgrims, support with medical teams, clerics who will guide them to ensure that they are focused on the spiritual benefits of their journey to the holy lands Abdul Lateef said
Peace in the land
Abdul Lateef explained that the state has enjoyed relative peace and religious harmony in the last one year as a result of its inclusive spiritual programmes and policies of the government.
He maintained that the state would continue to enjoy the peaceful and religious harmony witnessed in the state as long as it remains committed to all its inclusive spiritual policies.
Dr. Abdul Lateef stated that the state government has consistently dialogue on enhancement of harmonious and peaceful coexistence in the State while emphasising on the importance of the roles faith-based organisation play in the evolvement of state policies, programmes and activities.
The Lagos state branch of the Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC) which places premium on the promotion of peaceful co-existence amongst religious bodies in the state was recently inaugurated at the 20 local government and 37 local council development area of the state in order to spread its tentacles in enhancing issues of mediation and resolving matters of religion across the state Commissioner added.
He said during the year under review, the state government has also incorporated about three thousand legionnaires who were to serve as security personnel in all Lagos state Primary and Secondary Schools.
The Commissioner noted that state has continuously sensitized the public, particularly religious houses on the need to adhere to the rule of ‘no noise pollution’ in the state.
We ensure that mosque and churches are engaged from time to time in ensuring that they do not constitute nuisance, even in the observation of their night vigil we therefore enjoined residents of the state to report any of the erring religious houses to the Ministry of Home Affairs for further action.
Our strategies to make sure we relate with mosques and churches is the registration of religious institutions. We call on all religions to come to us for registration and identification. It is at no cost.
According to the commissioner, the state has registered about 13,000 religious institutions so far.
He re-echoed that the process towards the 2018 Hajj exercise has began and all necessary preparations towards a successful outing are in place.
Source: Voice of Nigeria