Lagos and Ogun States Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board have fixed four million, eight hundred and ninety-nine thousand Naira (N4, 899,000.00) as the final cost for the Y2024 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.
While the Lagos state Commissioner for Home Affairs, Hon. Olanrewaju Ibrahim Layode (OIL) announced this in a statement signed by the Board Secretary, Mr. Saheed Onipede, Tuesday, the Executive Secretary, Ogun State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Dauda Salau announced its fare while addressing pressmen in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, adding that the final Hajj fare as announced by the chairman National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Mallam Jalal Arabi, indicated that Pilgrims from the Southern part of the country, Ogun State inclusive, will pay the sum of 4,899,000 million naira.
He therefore appealed to all intending pilgrims who have made a deposit of N4.5 million or below to top it up to the fixed fare of N4.899 million naira before February 12.
The OPWB boss further explained that documentation and processing of visas will only be carried out for pilgrims who have made a complete payment.
Salau urged the Muslim faithful who are still wishing to perform this year’s hajj to make use of the extension date to do so, as there will be no further extension of date by NAHCON.
Layode urged the intending pilgrims, especially those that had fully paid the initial deposit of N4.5 million to endeavour 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 up with 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 to 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 expectation of the Sanwo-Olu’s administration and other stakeholders was 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, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi, over the weekend, announced the adjustment in fares for the 2024 Hajj exercise. Accordingly to him, intending pilgrims from the Southern region would pay N4,899,000.00; those from the Northern center would pay N4,699,000.00 while pilgrims from Yola and Maiduguri center would pay N4,679,000.00 for the 2024 Hajj.