…Parleys with Executives of State Pilgrims Boards
By Ishola Balogun
The National Hajj Commission, NAHCON, has announced the official hajj fare for this year. This came after the commission had considered all the components of Hajj with its cost implications.
According to a statement signed by the Head , Public Affairs Div, Hajia Fatima Sanda Years,
“Nigerian pilgrims for 2022 Hajj from Southern Nigeria are to pay N2,496,815.29, while their counterparts from Northern part of the country will pay N2, 449, 607.89. For Adamawa and Borno states, they are to pay N2, 408, 197.89 due to proximity to Saudi Arabia. The air ticket cost is the major difference in the Hajj fare. This was announced today, 4th June 2022 by the NAHCON Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan in an extraordinary meeting with Chief Executives of Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards in the NAHCON Hajj House headquarters.
Following announcement of the fare, the entire State Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards’ Executive Officers and other participants applauded NAHCON leadership for a good job in holding down the Hajj fare below N2.5 million deposit despite the obvious challenges. The gathering appreciated the effort put in place by the NAHCON Chairman in achieving this feat on behalf of Nigerian pilgrims.
Earlier, Alhaji Kunle Hassan, reminded the gathering that all stakeholders do not have the luxury of time and from experience, we know that Saudi Arabia will not add an hour extra once the deadline for landing is due. He informed that the Commission has requested for more Hajj seats, but NAHCON is still waiting for response. Therefore, in the meantime, all states are to work with and exhaust the allocations they have been granted instead of waiting for more.
NAHCON chairman disclosed that while visas of officials and pilgrims in the inaugural flight are ready, the states should start visa processing for all categories of registered pilgrims. The Chairman urged others to send their staff to study the visa processing system due to recent modifications that were introduced by Saudi Arabia this year. However, those state board executives that are ready will be guided on the process today after the meeting.
On the issue of difficulty acquiring travel passports, Alhaji Hassan informed that the board member representing Nigeria Immigration Service had promised to assist any state board having problem processing the travel document for their pilgrims. He therefore directed the state boards’ Executive Secretaries to contact her for assistance.
Alhaji Hassan urged them to intensify enlightenment on Hadaya to avoid pilgrims being dubbed.
He said, “It costs cheaper when paid from Nigeria due to the benefit of the foreign exchange.
Similarly, the Chairman disclosed that pilgrims will get their covid-19 PCR test done at a discounted rate of 30,000. Details will follow.
Nura Hassan Yakassai, NAHCON’s Commissioner in charge of Policy, Personnel Management and Finance encouraged the states to conclude fund remittance to fast-track Hajj preparations and for processing of Basic Travelling Allowances.
However, the chairman of Forum of States, Alhaji Idris Ahmed Al’ Makura praised the NAHCON board for the commendable job and called for cooperation from all quarters.