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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

FG raises 2024 Hajj fares for pilgrims

The Federal Government through the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has raised the 2024 Hajj fare by over N300,000 for intending pilgrims ahead of the the religious rites in Saudi Arabia.

With the increments, it said that intending pilgrims from Nigeria’s Southern center will pay N4,899,000 and not N4.5 million as announced earlier as Hajj fare for the over 90,000 Nigerians expected to participate in the religious rites.

For those from the Northern center, the central government stated that they will pay N4,699,000, for the Hajj while pilgrims from Yola, Adamawa State capital and Maiduguri, Borno State capital, will pay a fee of N4,679,000 for the 2024 Hajj.

The increments was made public through a statement released on Saturday by Assistant Director, Public Affairs, NAHCON, Fatima Usara, stressing that the additional fee be paid before February 12th, 2024.

According to the statement, It would be recalled that the Chairman of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi had initially aimed to maintain the 2024 Hajj fare at N4.5 million that was charged as initial deposit.

“The prospects had remained high until the well-known Naira crash that occurred mid-week.

“Regrettably, the recent instability in the Dollar exchange rate compelled a necessary adjustment despite commendable efforts by NAHCON Chairman, Jalal Ahmad Arabi to maintain cost of the year’s Hajj at the said rate.

“Arabi had actively negotiated substantial discounts with service providers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in late January, striving to alleviate costs for intending pilgrims.

“However, the volatile currency situation within the week necessitated the Commission to take a drastic decision to consolidate the gains achieved in lowering the cost of services for the Hajj, without which the price of 2024 Muslim pilgrimage might have shot to about N6 million.

“Consequently, intending pilgrims from Nigeria’s Southern center are required to pay N4,899,000 as Hajj fare; those from the Northern center will pay N4,699,000, for the Hajj and pilgrims from Yola and Maiduguri center will pay a fee of N4,679,000 for the 2024 Hajj.

“While expressing his regret, Chairman Arabi stated that this is the will of Allah, because the Commission, facing a tight deadline of 25th February, has limited time to explore further options to remain within the range of N4.5million which he assiduously worked for. Consequently, NAHCON announces the feasible cost of Hajj to meet the impending remittance deadline.

“Intending pilgrims are therefore advised to balance their Hajj fare by Monday 12th of February accordingly to enable the Commission transfer the funds before the imminent deadline.

“NAHCON assures the public of its commitment to ensuring a smooth and successful Hajj pilgrimage for all participants despite the challenges posed by foreign exchange factors. The Commission appreciates the understanding and cooperation of the Nigerian Muslim community during these times”.

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