The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) says it has reserved 230 Hajj slots for members of the Senate.
The commission disclosed this in a letter addressed to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa (Bauchi).
The letter was signed by Sheikh Suleiman Momoh NAHCON’s Commissioner of Planning, Research, Statistics, Information and Library Services.
Over two million pilgrims are expected to perform the Hajj following the cancellation of COVID-19 protocols and restoration of full capacity.
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Last year, around 900,000 pilgrims were welcomed to Saudi Arabia’s holiest cities.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had allocated 95,000 slots to Nigeria against 43,00 approved in 2022.
NAHCON consequently distributed the slots to each state, including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT and the armed forces.
In the letter, which was read during Wednesday’s plenary session by Senate President Ahmad Lawan, NAHCON explained that the hajj slots were not free and therefore urged the federal lawmakers to remit N2.5 million to their preferred states’ hajj agencies per pilgrim.
The commission gave the deadline of March 6 for the senators to complete the payment.
The letter reads: “I’m pleased to inform you that a total of 230 slots for 2023 hajj have been reserved by the commission for distinguished members of the Senate and you are requested to indicate the state pilgrims welfare board of your choice so that the slot will be communicated to them for your utilisation.
“On the basis of the above, you are kindly advised to assign an officer to liaise with the commission and your choice of state pilgrims board for further arrangements, including payment of the hajj fare and the coordination of the registration of the concerned pilgrims.
“Consequently, I urge you to remit N2.5 million, being hajj fare paid for 2022 hajj, per pilgrim pending the final announcement.
“Please note that the Saudi authorities had given the deadline of 30th March 2023 to complete all hajj preparations. Therefore, kindly expedite action to complete the arrangement on or before 6th March.”