HomeHajj(UPDATE)NAHCON raises concern over late Hajj registration by Tour Operators

(UPDATE)NAHCON raises concern over late Hajj registration by Tour Operators

*Says: “Some operators still requesting fresh IBAN transfers *They're on their own --- AHUON President

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has said some Licensed Tour Operators are still collecting money from prospective pilgrims with the view to procure visa for them several hours after the closure of the registration portal.

The commission confirmed that certain payments were made as late as yesterday 5th June, 2024, adding that currently, out of 13,562 visa requests by the private Hajj operators, the Commission was able to intervene with the production of 12,277 visas for such operator companies that remitted their funds early and at the right foreign exchange rate.

The remaining unprocessed visas correlate with those operators that paid their monies late. With this development 1,285 visas may not be processed.

Reacting to the development, the President of Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria, AHUON, Sheikh Abdullateef Ekundayo said any operator still collecting money after the deadline set by NAHCON is doing that at his or her own risk, adding that the action is in violation of the rules set by the Saudi arabia Ministry of Hajj and NAHCON.

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The statement signed by NAHCON’s Public Affairs officer, Hajia Fatima Usara said: “Few Licensed Tour Operator Companies approached the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria to facilitate additional transfers into their IBAN accounts to process more travel documents for their clients. This is coming barely hours before Saudi Arabia suspends all visa activities for the 2024 Hajj. Despite the fact that the Tour Operators’ association (Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators in Nigeria, AHUON) solicited for extension of the registration portal to 31st May 2024, yet, NAHCON approved up to 3rd June out of compassion. Still, some of the members continued to plead for further extension of registration to the extent that certain payments were made as late as yesterday 5th June, 2024.

READ ALSO:NDLEA arrests four pilgrims ingesting cocaine en route Saudi Arabia

“Without NAHCON’s intervention, please note that Saudi Arabian authorities would not have accommodated further visa processing for any category of Nigerian pilgrim up to this period. However, NAHCON did not turn away the Tour Operators’ appeals for additional payments knowing that they need to serve their clients to remain in business.

“Currently, out of 13,562 visa requests by the private Hajj operators, the Commission was able to intervene with the production of 12,277 visas for such operator companies that remitted their funds early and at the right foreign exchange rate. The remaining unprocessed visas correlate with those operators that paid their monies late.

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“Hence, NAHCON accepted to accommodate late transfers with a caveat, that only deposits made by 5th of June will be honoured. Additionally, that after the payments, they are advised to stay action until the Central Bank of Nigeria approves the Naira to Dollar Value rate upon which the private travel companies paid their additional deposits. Thirdly, that if the funds value is commensurate with the CBN exchange rate, they must remain hopeful for the Central Bank to successfully transfer their funds into the IBAN account before closure of Hajj registration portal by the Saudi Arabian authority,” NAHCON said.

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