....Urges Intending Pilgrims to Pay Balance by February 12

The Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board has fixed Four Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety-Nine Thousand Naira (N4, 899,000.00) as the final cost for the 2024 Hajj exercise in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as announced by the Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi over the weekend.

The Assistant Director, Public Affairs, of the board, Taofeek Lawal, made a statement on Tuesday, quoting the Honorable Commissioner for Home Affairs, Olanrewaju Ibrahim Layode, in a statement signed by the Board Secretary, Mr Saheed Onipede.

Layode urged the intending pilgrims, especially those that had fully paid the initial deposit of N4.5 million, to endeavor to pay the balance of Three Hundred and Ninety-Nine Thousand Naira (N399,000.00) on or before February 12, 2024, in order to meet the deadline given by NAHCON.

The Hon. Commissioner, who expressed the State Government’s regrets over the increment, said that the development was least expected at a time when every Nigerian was trying hard to survive the economic downturn in the country as a result of the instability in the dollar-naira exchange rate.

While pleading with the intending pilgrims to show understanding, he stated that the situation was beyond the control of the state government.

He explained further that the Sanwo-Olu administration and other stakeholders expected to have the initial deposit of N4.5 million reduced to the barest minimum. He, however, prayed that Allah would make the payment of the balance easy for them within the stipulated period and also make the spiritual exercise an acceptable one for them.

Meanwhile, the Hon. Commissioner has assured the intending pilgrims of a seamless exercise throughout their stay in the Holy Land. He affirmed that the State Government had secured a conducive and comfortable accommodation befitting its status nearer to the Haram in Makkah, adding that other initiatives have also been put in place with a view to making the intending pilgrims enjoy maximum comfort whilst performing the Hajj rites.

Recall that the Chairman/CEO of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi, over the weekend announced the adjustment in fares for the 2024 Hajj exercise.

According to him, intending pilgrims from the southern region would pay N4,899,000.00; those from the northern centre would pay N4,699,000.00; and pilgrims from Yola and Maiduguri centers would pay N4,679,000.00 for the 2024 Hajj.