Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed has given 300 Riyals each to over 3,000 pilgrims from his state, the giveaway is way higher than N4,614,292.39 Bauchi State Muslims Pilgrim Welfare Board had spent in three months, WikkiTimes investigation revealed.
Mukhtar Gidado, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the governor said in a statement that the governor visited Bauchi pilgrims where they are camping in Saudi Arabia and gave them the money as a way to commend them for abiding by the rules and regulations of the Saudi kingdom.
“Mohammed commended them for respecting the authorities, both in Nigeria and in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Gidado started. “He (the governor) assured that this administration would not relent in supporting the state pilgrims’ welfare board in order to provide best services to pilgrims.”
According to Daily Trust, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 300 Riyals is equivalent to N75,000. WikkiTimes’ findings showed otherwise.
The current exchange rate for the Saudi Arabia currency to the Nigerian naira, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria is around N200. This puts the 300 Riyals each Bauchi pilgrim got at N60,000.
Going by the governor’s claim, WikkiTimes’ analysis showed that he had spent N180,000,000 to commend the pilgrims.
GIVEAWAY HIGHER THAN WHAT PILGRIM BOARD SPENT IN 3 MONTHS
According to data obtained from the website of the Bauchi State Government, the Muslims Pilgrim Welfare Board spent N4,614,292.39 between January and March. This was out of N95,136,095 approved for the board in the 2023 budget.
In aggregate, the board spent N1,738,632.39 out of N6,136,095.03 to be spent on personnel expenditure.
Out of N59,200,000.00 overhead expenditure, the board had spent N2,875,660.00. However, it is yet to spend a dime out of N29,800,000.00 budgeted for capital expenditure.