The FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board yesterday said it would not accept fresh deposits from intending pilgrims for the 2022 Hajj exercise until those that paid the minimum deposit for the 2021 cancelled exercise are catered for.
The board also said fresh applications would only be entrained after it received the number of seats allocated to the FCT by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) for the 2022 exercise.
- The Brief: Deadly Zamfara attack; an eye for an eye; 90 days in captivity
- 2023: Zoning presidency to South, wishful thinking – Sen Adamu
The Director of the board, Malam Muhammad Nasiru Danmallam, who made this known while addressing journalists in Abuja, said before the cancellation of the 2021 exercise, the board had registered 1714 intending pilgrims, including those that rolled over their deposits from the 2020 exercise that was also cancelled.
He said following the cancellation, the board asked pilgrims that want their deposit refunded to apply and that as of last Friday, N432 million was refunded to 334,000 intending pilgrims, leaving a balance of 1,380.
“It is pertinent to inform you that not all the remaining 1,380 intending pilgrims have paid the minimum deposit N1.5m as instructed by NAHCON and as such those who deposited below N1m could not be captured in the central database provided by the regulating body for Hajj 2021.
“Therefore, the board advised those that deposited below the minimum amount to migrate from the accustomed method of payment for hajj seats to the Hajj Savings Scheme (HSS) which was initiated by NAHCON to enable intending pilgrims to pay for hajj at their own convenience,’’ he said.
The director assured that those that deposited up to N1.5 million last year and decided to roll over their deposits to 2022 hajj would get priority if the hajj exercise takes place and FCT gets enough slots to take care of them all.
“Sequel to this development, the board would not collect a fresh deposit from prospective intending pilgrims until it receives the 2022 hajj allocation from NAHCON and has fully accommodated the rolled over depositors,’’ the director said.