The Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Agency Executive Secretary, Dr. Yusuf Yaqubu Alrigasiyu, has announced that the agency will request additional 500 hajj seats for this year’s pilgrimage.
He said the request was to meet the demands of other intending pilgrims expected to make payments for seats in the state in the coming days.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Alrigasiyu explained that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) had already allocated 5,987 seats to the state, with intending pilgrims expected to pay N2.919 million per seat.
He also noted that any pilgrim who pays their fare is entitled to an $800 Basic Travel Allowance.
Dr. Alrigasiyu cited several reasons for the increase in fare, including the cost of accommodations, the increase in the dollar rate to the naira, a 15 per cent VAT increase by Saudi Arabian authorities, and fuel costs for airplanes.
He said despite the fare hike, Nigeria’s hajj seat fare remains the lowest in the world.
He listed countries like Malaysia, Pakistan, Ghana, and Niger Republic, which have higher hajj fares for seats than Nigeria.
The executive secretary expressed appreciation to NAHCON’s leadership for ensuring that the fare remains less than N3m