The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) says the cost of Hajj for Nigerian pilgrims might not exceed the N4.5m deposit intending pilgrims were told to pay.
In a statement on Friday, the commission said the fare may stay at that price due to measures being implemented by the its Acting Chairman, Jalal Ahmad Arabi amd his team.
The statement which was signed by its Assistant Director of Press, Fatima Sanda Usara, said “Hajj fare may not exceed the N4,500,000 (four million, five hundred thousand) currently required as minimum deposit to register for the 2024 Hajj. The amount was expected to rise after the final fare computation. However, the reverse may be the case following some measures the NAHCON Chairman and his team plan to introduce, the imminent rise in the Hajj fare may be a nightmare subdued.”
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Usaea stated that the 2023 Hajj fare pegged $6,644, the 2024 hajj would cost the same as the commission did not plan to increase the fare from what was charged.
She however, noted that the anticipated increase is an inevitable outcome of the current economic situation in the country.
“Recall that the cost of the 2023 Hajj in Dollars was $6,644.1 exchanged at the rate of N456 to a Dollar. Today, the same $6,644.1 at the exchange rate of N800 would amount to N5,315.352. This is what makes the hike predictable. Fortunately, Malam Jalal Arabi brought a proposition that would insulate the Hajj fare from escalating.”
“And in consonance with the Tinubu’s administration, the proposals are being considered because they would serve as shock absorbers to the final cost of 2023 Hajj.”
She said this was part of the issues discussed by the chairman in an interview on BBC Hausa’s program ‘Gane mani Hanya’ that would be aired on tomorrow.
She stressed that with the 2024 Hajj drawing nearer, NAHCON has continued to remind intending pilgrims that the deadline for the season’s pilgrimage preparations would end earlier than usual.
“This is because the host country has scheduled to close Hajj preparatory arrangements earlier to facilitate timely commencement of visa processing. Consequently, visa issuance would end earlier than it used to be as well. Towards this end, the Hajj Commission set December 31st as deadline for remittance of N4.5 million Hajj fare deposit to allow it collate number of qualified candidates for the Hajj.”
“It is with this number that the Commission would enter negotiations that would determine the final fare for the year’s Muslim pilgrimage. Outcome of accommodation, feeding and airline negotiations would also come with announcement of deadline for full fare remittance or refund if there is any excess on the N4.5m.”