51,447 intending pilgrims beat deadline for Hajj 2024 — NAHCON  | The Guardian Nigeria News


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• This Year’s Preparation Most Difficult, Says Arabi
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said a total of 51,447 intending pilgrims successfully beat the deadline for registration of 2024 hajj under government quota.

The figure include 3,033 newly-registered intending pilgrims who were not captured in the earlier registered list, but were able to make deposit despite the about 77.4 per cent increase for new intakes’ fare.

Nevertheless, the total registered number represents a little above 68 per cent of the 75,000 allocation to state and 54 per cent of the 95,000 quota granted to Nigeria by Saudi Arabia’s authority for this year’s pilgrimage.

A statement by the Assistant Director, Public Affairs,NAHCON, Fatima Sanda Usara, which released the official figure, said the commission recognised the numerous sacrifices and support rendered by the Federal Government that eventually eased the constrains of the conventional intending pilgrims.

According to the data released from NAHCON, Kaduna (4,493), Sokoto (3,643), Kebbi (3, 419) and Kano (3,057) have the highest travellers while Abia, Anambra, Cross River and Akwa Ibom have zero intending pilgrim.

“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.

“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 literarily exposed the reality of the quaqmire 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.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, NAHCON, Malam Jalal Arabi, has described the 2024 hajj preparation as the most difficult, compared to previous years. He disclosed that no fewer than 50,000 Nigerian intending pilgrims would perform the 2024 Hajj in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Arabi commended the Federal Government for intervening with policies to support the commission to ensure that things did not go wrong.

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah had allocated 95,000 Hajj slots to Nigeria for the 2024 pilgrimage.

A total of 95,000 Nigerian pilgrims performed the 2023 Hajj exercise, out of which about 28 lost their lives in the Holy Land.

He said the commission was on course to conduct a successful Hajj operation, no matter the challenges.

He said: “You know in the past, we had the luxury of time to prepare at our own pace; But, this time around, the host which is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia came up with the timeline that we have to work within,” he said.

“ There were a series of interventions that the government made in terms of policies to ensure that there is no unnecessary tension in the nation,” he said.

Arabi noted that, going forward, the Hajj Savings Scheme would be the surest method to adopt.

He assured that the commission would embark on adequate sensitisation and enlightenment to make sure that intending pilgrims key into it.

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