By Waziri Isa Adam
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria NAHCON, has pegged the Hajj fare for 2024 within the range of N4.5m and N4.9m depending on the centre of take-off.
A statement emanating from the Hajj commission said the Chairman of the commission Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi had initially aimed to maintain the 2024 Hajj fare at N4.5 million that was charged as initial deposit.
The statement, which was signed by Fatima Sanda Usara,
Assistant Director, Public Affairs of the commission maintained that the recent free fall of the value naira against that of dollar drastically affected the initial plan thereby compelling necessary adjustment despite all efforts to maintain cost of the year’s Hajj at the said rate.
The statement explained that the Chairman of the commission had actively negotiated substantial discounts with service providers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in late January, striving to alleviate costs for intending pilgrims.
“However, the volatile currency situation within the week necessitated the Commission to take a drastic decision to consolidate the gains achieved in lowering the cost of services for the Hajj, without which the price of 2024 Muslim pilgrimage might have shot to about N6,000,000 (six million Naira).
“Consequently, intending pilgrims from Nigeria’s Southern center are required to pay N4,899,000 as Hajj fare; those from the Northern center will pay N4,699,000, for the Hajj and pilgrims from Yola and Maiduguri center will pay a fee of N4,679,000 for the 2024 Hajj”, the statement stated”.
While regretting the inconviniences this action may cause the intending pilgrims, Chairman Arabi urged them to see the new development as the will of Allah, as the Hands of the commission were tight to meet the deadline of 25th February, which limited the time to explore further options to remain within the range of N4.5million as expected
In this regard, intending pilgrims are therefore advised to balance their Hajj fare by Monday 12th of February accordingly to enable the Commission transfer the funds before the imminent deadline.
While appreciating the understanding and cooperation of the Nigerian Muslim community during these times, NAHCON also assures the public of its commitment to ensuring a smooth and successful Hajj pilgrimage for all participants despite the challenges posed by foreign exchange factors.