NAHCOM To Invite Investors To Turnaround Multimillion Naira Lagos Pilgrims Transit Camp
..Alimosho LGA To Convert Part Of Facility To Isolation Centre
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Hajj Commission (NAHCOM), Alhaji Zikirullah Hassan has stated that the Commission would invite investors for Public Private Partnership (PPP) to turn around the multimillion Pilgrims Transit Camp at Akowonjo area of Lagos for the benefit of Muslims in the state.
He stated this today during an inspection of the Hajj Camp facility in company of the Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, Commissioner for Tourism, Alhaja Uzamat Yusuf, representative of the Alimosho Local Government Chairman, Lagos Zonal Coordinator, NAHCON, Alhaji Mubarak Waheed and other officials of the Commission.
Speaking to journalists shortly after inspecting the facility, the chairman said that the he and some members of NAHCOM board have come to see the amount of work done and also see how businessmen can partner with the Commission to put the project into use.
He said that the project has not been used for the purpose for which it was used, hence the intention of NAHCOM to invite business entities to partner with it and make it a viable venture for the benefit of the Muslims in Lagos state.
He, however, said that whatever line of business these businessmen, who wants to partners with the Commission want to going into must not be contrary to the Islamic ethics.
“I am here with some of our staff and board members and board to take a look at the Hajj camp facilities in Lagos and to see the ongoing work and to also see what we can make of it for the benefits of Muslims in Lagos in particular and in Nigeria in general.
“The project has been ongoing for quite a number of years, it has been restated and abandoned and not used for the purpose it was built. My own management is to ensure that the project is put into use, so that in the next few months, it would be opened to the Nigerian public and Muslims in Lagos state.
“We are going to invite business people, who can do PPP arrangement with us and see what they can turn it into and both of us can share the proceeds at a mutually acceptable agreement. Investors should come and look at it and see what they can turn it to provided it is something that will be ethical, that is not contrary to the Islamic ethics. It is going to be a long term, anybody who is going to come here will look at the facilities and spend his money here as well. It is going to be a long term but will be fairly good for all of us,” Zikirullah said.
Also speaking, the Commissioner, Home Affairs, Lagos State, Anofiu Elegushi stated as a stated government , it was looking at how the facility can be converted to international Islamic school that would be affiliated to some international Islamic school for adults to enable people get their degrees here rather than going to Egypt or Saudi Arabia.
In the same vein, Elegushi said that the people of Alimosho, where the Hajj Camp is located are considering using some part as Isolation Centre to take care of people from the area and that as a result the Chairman of the Local government has renovated part of the facility to make this a reality.
He added that although, the conversion of part of the facility is a temporary solution, the essence is to ensure that the Camp does not continue to waste away.
According to Elegushi, “As you can see the Chairman of NAHCON is here to inspect this site. This site was the former Hajj Camp, where the pilgrims stay before going to the airport for Hajj. Gone are the days when they will spend days with their families before travelling to Mecca. But now we have perfect schedules, if you are traveling to Mecca now, the time is just like 10 to 15 hours, and moving them from here to the airport was difficult because of traffic so this was the reason this place was abandoned for almost 20 years. The chairman is now looking at using this place again, if for that purpose but for a relative purpose. We can’t just leave this place wasting away, they have the intention of putting up an event centre, but from our own submission as the state government, we of the opinion that this place can be converted International Islamic school where people can get quality Islamic studies, we are looking at getting affiliation of some International Islamic school for Adults so that people can get their degree here rather than going to Egypt or Saudi Arabia.”
He continued, “Also the people of Alimosho are intending to use it as Isolation centre, they have renovated some places here to be used as Isolation center to capture the people in the area. That is also on the temporary basis, after which the property will be returned back to NAHCON who is the original owner of the property and we will look at converting it to something that will be of greatest benefit to our people. The Chairman has thought of reactivating the site and they have started the process and some renovation works are going on.”