The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and the Forum of State Executive Secretaries of Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards, Agencies, and Commissions have both coincide to fix the minimum deposit for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage exercise at N4.5 million.
A statement signed by NAHCON’s Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Fatima Usara, revealed that the decision became necessary to be “in tandem with the Dollar rate that will determine the final cost of the coming Hajj”.
The decision was reached on the 5th of September 2023, following a post-Hajj meeting, where they agreed on the sum as a minimum deposit for intending pilgrims to be registered for the 2024 exercise
NAHCON stated the reasons for the decision were so that the states could estimate how many pilgrims would be eligible by November 4, 2023, and that with the amount top-up, residual would be minimal by the time the final fare price is calculated.
They further explained that with the amount, the Commission would have “a more realistic figure to bargain for the cost of accommodation, airline fares, feeding, and others” while reiterating that the sum of N4.5m remained the minimum deposit for the Hajj exercise.
“The said meeting ended with members agreeing unanimously with this plan. Indeed, the Hajj industry in Nigeria is recognised under only one leadership, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, and this institution reiterates that the minimum deposit for the 2024 Hajj remains N4.5m. The balance will be determined by the dollar cost at the time of final Hajj fare computation”.
The statement consequently warned the public, especially intending pilgrims, that the Commission would not be held responsible if a pilgrim who paid a lower deposit amount was counted ineligible for the 2024 Hajj.
Usara also reminded interested participants to make deposits in time to enable the various State Pilgrims Boards to complete registration and remittance of Hajj fares by January 5.
“The Commission also wishes to remind those interested in participating in the 2024 Hajj of the time constraint with regards to the final date of funds remittance into the coffers of the Saudi Arabian account for the processing of Visas. The Commission is expected to complete payment for accommodation and holy sites contracts by February 2024 to enable the commencement of Visa issuance from March 3 to April 29, 2024.
“In view of this challenge, pilgrims are enjoined to make their deposits in time to enable their respective boards to complete registration and remittance of Hajj fare by 5th January”, the statement read.