The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) declared on Wednesday in Abuja that no state has the right to increase Hajj fares. Its Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, made the declaration at a meeting with chief executive officers of states pilgrim’s welfare boards, agencies and commissions.
Hassan explained that the 2023 Hajj fares announced by the Commission were agreed upon by all the 36 states and FCT chief executive officers after due diligence and consideration of all variables. He added that it was also agreed that inaugural flight for the 2023 Hajj would take place on May 21.
He said also that NAHCON would review Hajj seats allocations to states on April 28 in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders. “We are making April 28 to be our final day to review Hajj seats allocations. Some states are asking for more seats, while others have not exhausted their slots.
“Those that are asking for more seats will be able to get them by the end of work on Friday and those who are unable to exhaust their slots will have to surrender them,’’ he said. Hassan added that April 28 remained the deadline for 2023 Hajj fare remittances by the 36 states pilgrims boards, agencies and commissions.
He said that NAHCON would work with any amount of money remitted by the Friday deadline and subsequently sign agreements for the transportation of the 2023 Hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia based on that number. He explained that 50 per cent down payment was expected to be made to air carriers upon the signing of agreement while another 35 per cent would follow after deployment of aircraft for the transportation of pilgrims.
NAHCON announced eight different 2023 Hajj fares regime on April 7 showing different fares between the northern parts and southern parts of the country. Pilgrims at Maiduguri and Yola departure centres in the Northeast will pay N2.9 million, including their 800 dollars Basic Travel Allowance. For other states in the northern parts, pilgrims would pay N2.91 million.
In the south, Edo pilgrims and those from the South-South and Southeast geopolitical zones would pay N2.97 million. Those from Ekiti and Ondo states would pay N2.9 million, while Osun pilgrims would pay N2.993 million; Cross River has the cheapest rate in the south with N2.94 million. Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states pilgrims would pay N2.99 million.