The Executive Secretary, Plateau State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr Auwalu Abdulahi, says 824 intending pilgrims from the state would be transported to Saudi Arabia for the 2022 Hajj.
Abdulahi announced this in Jos on Wednesday while addressing newsmen and intending pilgrims.
He said that the board was fully prepared to transport its intending pilgrims and would begin the transportation on June 24.
“We have 824 intending pilgrims from Plateau that would be leaving for the 2022 pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
“We are fully ready for the exercise and all items necessary for the Hajj operations, including bags, hijabs and uniform, among others, have been distributed to intending pilgrims,” he said.
Abdulahi explained that there was a change in Hajj fares paid by the pilgrims for the 2022 pilgrimage exercise due to changes in exchange rates and increase of VAT in Saudi Arabia.
“It is very unfortunate that pilgrims had to pay higher amounts this year, it was N1.5 million in 2019 but has risen to N2.5 million in 2022.
“It is so because of the exchange rates which is now higher and also due to increase in VAT in Saudi Arabia, it has risen from 7 per cent to about 14 per cent,” he explained.
He also noted that some unscrupulous persons and agents were charging some intending pilgrims higher than the official fare for the pilgrimage.
He said that the board would fish out the bad eggs and advised intending pilgrims who paid late and could not be captured in the state’s official allocated number to use alternative carriers.
Abdulahi urged the intending pilgrims to be good ambassadors of Nigeria while in the holy land, exhibit good morals and keep away from crimes and other social vices.
NAHCON has approved three carriers to transport Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
The airlines are Azman Air, Flynass and Max Air