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Hajj 2024: NAHCON rues long term planning as unfilled 23,000 slots worries stakeholders  *See list by states

*Kaduna tops with 4,493 pilgrims, *Nasarawa, Ondo, Edo, Osun, Imo fill slots *Lagos fills only 52% of its allocation

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, recently announced that the total number of intending Pilgrims for the 2024 Hajj exercise stands at 51,447 under the government quota, emphasizing that its strategy henceforth will be on long term planning.

The commission in a statement released recently advised all Hajj stakeholders to embrace long term planning in order to avert unforeseen challenges.

According to the list, Kaduna state which had the highest allocation tops with 4,493 registered pilgrims representing 75% of its total allocation.   This is followed by Sokoto State registering 3,643 pilgrims representing 66% of its 5,504 allocation. Bauchi which has 3,132 slots closed registration with 74% of its allocation.

In the same vein, Nasarawa, Ondo, Edo, Osun and Imo were able to register 100% of their respective allocation, while Lagos with 3,576 registered 1,861 representing 52% of its allocated seats.

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With the present development, more than 23,000 slots yet unfilled from the 75,000 states allocation.  The same could apply to the Tour Operators that have to fill 20,000 slots.  With the inflation trend, and the souring of the naira to a dollar, the probability is like hundred-to-one shot. The implication is that Nigeria might have its usual allocation reduced in subsequent hajj.

Responding to questions in an interview with CEO of Habdat Express Travels Limited, Alhaji Qasim Alabi on filling the number of slots with the high cost of Hajj recently, he said: “My major concern is that Nigeria may not be able to utilize all the quotas especially if the time-frame given to us is not extended mainly because of our attitude towards preparation for events. As we speak, I am aware that most states have not even met half of the allocation given to them. Many of them will have to return their allocation back to the commission, considering the deadline. This is because once it passed April 29, no visa can be issued again.  This will also help Saudi Arabia also to make better preparations for the pilgrims. The interview was published in our last edition of KaabaNews magazine.

Also, the Managing Director of Eminasta Travels, Alhaji Ahmed Abubakar said the business of Hajj is fast on the decline, adding that the growth envisage in the next five years is being threatened by the instability of the economy mainly as a result of the foreign exchange.

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He stated that the slots may not be filled totally, urging government to intervene in order to reduce the pain being experienced by pilgrims and stakeholders in the industry.

The view that hajj is meant for those who have the means, but the fact remains that most pilgrims have paid for the calculated amount long time but yet still have to bear the brunt of the current realities.  That should be looked into.  As it is today, we may not utilise the 95,000 slots entirely, and that will not be too good for us especially considering our standing and estimation before Saudi Arabia,“ Abubakar said.

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However, NAHCON in a statement confirming the number of registered intending pilgrims from the states and Armed Forces, said:

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“After close of registration, the official number of intending pilgrims that registered for the 2024 Hajj from Nigeria stands at 51,447 under the government quota.

“Commendably, the Bola Ahmed Tinubu led government played a leading role in the realization of this noble objective. The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) recognizes the numerous sacrifices that Federal Government made against all odds towards easing the constraints off its intending pilgrims.

“The Commission also commends the patience exhibited by the pilgrims that were caught up in the uncertainties. The concern demonstrated by the Ulamas over the pilgrims’ predicament did not go unnoticed by the Commission. Several stakeholders, including State Governors, rendered solutions out of the gridlock. Some media houses showed tremendous understanding of the constraints which exposed the reality of the quagmire the 2024 Hajj was confronting.

“Indeed, 2024 Hajj preparations came with unexpected challenges from which lessons have been learnt. NAHCON has always known that long term planning has been the workable strategy that would have subdued the challenges that slowed down the year’s Hajj preparations. Going forward, long term planning will be the Commission’s paradigm shift in its pre-Hajj operations. It is a reality that all Hajj stakeholders must queue into to avert unforeseen challenges.

Below is a breakdown of number of pilgrims that successfully registered for the 2024 Hajj exercise from each state.

 

 

 

S/NStateTotal number of pilgrims registeredTotal AllocationPercentage
1Adamawa1,6422,66962
2Borno1,7802,73565
3Taraba9501,59059
4Yobe1,1201,96856
Maid./Yola Sub-total5,492
5Bauchi2,3153, 13274
6Benue8723637
7Ekiti186197

 

94
8FCT.2,4913,52071
9Gombe1,373

 

2,30160
10Jigawa1,2501,52582
11Kaduna4,493 598275
12Kano3,0575,90252
13Katsina2,654 4,91354
14Kebbi3,419487170
15Kogi13
16

 

Kwara

 

3,000

 

3,21993
17Nasarawa1,8661,866100
18Niger3,201 5,16562
19Ondo491491100
20Plateau1,1261,98457
21Sokoto3,6435,50466
22Zamfara1,5963,08352
Northern Sub-total36,261
23Abia530
24Akwa-IbomSuspended
25Anambra390
26Bayelsa133537
27Cross River660
28Delta36 

 

7449
29Ebonyi1311711
30Edo295295100
31Enugu184045
32Imo100100100
33Lagos1,8613,57652
34Ogun9251,13981
35Osun1,5901,590100
36Oyo1,0471,44173
37Rivers475094
38Armed Forces36540391
Southern Sub-total6,310
TOTAL FROM STATES48,063
39HSS1884
40Others1,500
GRAND TOTAL51,447

 

Total allocations to states, agencies and Armed forces = 71,000

Total registered (Allocations paid for) = 51,447

Total Percentage of Registered pilgrims from states = 72.4%

Total Percentage unregistered = 28%

 

 

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