The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said 40 per cent (30,000 seats) of the 75,000 slots for this year’s hajj pilgrimage will be allocated to subscribers of the Hajj Savings scheme.
It urged state governments to abide by the rule to ensure fairness and success of the scheme.
The commission disclosed this in a statement yesterday by its spokesman, Mousa Ubandawaki.
It expressed concern that subscribers were being put under pressure to withdraw or migrate their deposits from the scheme to the state pilgrims’ agencies to be registered for this year’s hajj.
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“We urge the states to respect the agreement on the distribution of hajj quota on the basis of 60% for government pilgrims and 40% for the Hajj Savings Scheme subscribers,” it said.
The commission assured stakeholders that no stone would be left unturned to ensure that the 2023 hajj operation is hitch-free.
The statement also urged state pilgrims’ agencies to cooperate with NAHCON and ensure compliance with the directive to make this year’s hajj operation successful.
It asked the state governments to remit 50 per cent deposits of 2023 allocation by February 28, warning that any state that fails to comply would have its hajj slots reduced.
It said: “Remittance to the commission in this past week has been abysmal and payment to service providers in Saudi Arabia remains the biggest assurance that Nigeria will participate in this year’s hajj.
“By our calendar of events, final remittance to the commission should be concluded by February 28 in order to conclude our arrangements on time.”
Meanwhile, the management of Kaduna International Airport said security around the facility has improved and is ready for the airlift of hajj pilgrims.
The airport’s acting manager, Abubakar Sadiq, stated this when he received a delegation from Kaduna State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board led by its Executive Secretary, Dr Yusuf Yakubu Alrigasiyu.
Alrigasiyyu said last year’s hajj operation in the state was successful despite security challenges.
He said 5,982 intending pilgrims would be airlifted from the airport this year.
He also told the airport management that his agency would commence Umrah (lesser hajj) with 800 pilgrims in the state soon.
By Faruk Shuaibu (Abuja) & Mohammed I. Yaba (Kaduna)