Yaouonde (National Times)-Cameroon’s president Paul Biya has doled out FCFA 1billion to support muslim pilgrims across the country wishing to travel to Mecca for the spiritual journey of hajj.
The announcement which Territorial Administration Minister Paul Nji Atanga made public Wednesday May 8th comes two days after the Cameroon Union of Islamic Associations, Imams and Pilgrims’ coordinators raised concerns over the increase in the cost of this year’s Hajj.
After the meeting, the muslim leaders made an appeal seeking support from president Biya. Informing the public of the response from the president of the republic, Minister Atanga Nji in his capacity of the president of the National Hajj Commission said Biya has acted in his usual magnanimity.
Atanga Nji said he “ is pleased to announce to the entire Muslim Community that, the Head of State H.E president Paul Biya in his legendary and usual magnanimity has heard their cry and has granted a subsidy of FCFA 1 billion to all aspiring pilgrims”.
A one stop shop Hajj registration counter has been opened to register an estimated 2, 839 pilgrims latest June 7th, 2019. The registration is expected to elapse once the number reaches the target. Those who had registered before now have been instructed to contact their coordinators to get a balance of their money.
Among the worries that sent the pilgrims cap-in-hand before the head of state was an increase of FCFA 109.000 in Visa fee, increase of FCFA 1.75000 in bus transport service cost and an increase in the exchange rate of the dollar from FCFA 5890 in 2018 to 630 in 2019.
Speaking at the press Conference in Yaounde Wednesday, the aspiring pilgrims showered praises on the head of state. The result of two days in house negotiation and lobbying has seen a drop in their individual expenditure of at least FCFA 30015000 per pilgrim.