The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has pegged the hajj fare of each intending pilgrim for 2023 at N2.89m.
The Chairman of NAHCON, Zikrullah Hassan, made the disclosure on Friday, attributing the increment to inflation in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
Hassan said the price is of 8 categories, with Borno and Yobe States as the lowest price while the highest is Lagos and Ogun States, N2.99m.
Daily Trust reports that the increase is over N300,000 compared to what was paid during the 2022 hajj.
“Hajj fare has 8 different costs, pilgrims from Maiduguri and Yola, will pay 2.89m other northern states 2.919m. The southern part of the country has six different prices, Edo State and the other states in the South South and South East will pay N2.96m while Ekiti and Ondo States will pay N2.88m, Osun State will pay N2.99m. Cross River to pay N2.943m and Lagos, Ogun and Oyo to pay N2.99m,” he stated.
He explained the disparity in the price is because states in the north are closer to Saudi Arabia than the states in the south and accommodation secured by each state also determines the amount they would pay.
He said the airlines approved for airlift of pilgrims from states are; Air Peace, Azman Air, Fly Nas, Aero Contractors and Max Air while Arik Air and Value jet were approved as chartered aircraft for private tour operators.
He added that the Commission would close the portal for those who choose hajj saving schemes by April 21.
“We decided to do this to ensure that all operation activities are not dragged and May 21 will be the inaugural flight. We are committed to take every single citizen that registered for hajj this year.”
“The reason for the increase is due to inflation rate in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, high cost of goods and services in Saudi Arabia and scarcity of aviation fuel. Also, there has been an increase in the exchange of naira to dollar at the official rate, we tried to keep the fare at a minimum level while taking a view of the economic condition of the people going for hajj.”
He added that the rise in the fare is not limited to Nigeria alone as other countries who have declared their hajj fare announced increase.
“There is hike from other parts of the world like Ghana, Pakistan, India, Niger among others,” he said
He also assured that there would not be any obstacles during the process as it would not tolerate delay in ferrying pilgrims to the holy land.