UPDATED: 2024 hajj: Fresh applicants to pay N8.4 million — NAHCON

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Fresh applicants for the 2024 hajj pilgrimage would pay N8.4 million per seat, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), has said.

The commission, in a statement released Sunday evening by its spokesperson Fatima Sanda Usara, said the new applicants have between now and Wednesday March 28, 2024 to pay.

Fresh applicants from northern parts of the country would pay N8.2 million, while their southern counterparts would pay N8.4 million, according to NAHCON.

For the intending pilgrims who had paid the original N4.9 million hajj fare, the commission said they have to cough out additional N1.9 million between now and Wednesday to make them eligible for the pilgrimage.

The apex hajj and umrah regulatory agency has blamed the sudden rise in the fare on the foreign exchange crisis ravaging the country.

“Intending pilgrims that still wish to participate in the 2024 Hajj are by this release advised to proceed and pay a balance of N1,918,032.91 latest by 11:59 pm of 28th March 2024. The Commission will shut down its system by 29th March and no other payment would be accommodated after,” the commission said.

The commission, however, said “any new registration for 2024 Hajj from today, 24th of March will attract the full sum of N8,225, 464.74 from the Adamawa/Borno axis. From the North zone, fresh depositors will pay N8, 254, 464.74 whereas fresh payments from the Southern zone will attract N8, 454, 464.74 as Hajj fare. All categories are to pay within the same deadline.”

March 28 is the third deadline set by the commission within the last three months for the hajj fare collection. The first deadline was December 31, 2023, but was shifted to February 12, 2024 to enable intending pilgrims pay the N4.9 million fare fixed by the commission but adjudged to be exorbitant by many stakeholders in the hajj industry.

The commission said only 48, 414 intending pilgrims have fully paid for the hajj fare — with interventions from their state governments.

Nigeria got 95,000 hajj slots from Saudi Arabia for 2024 hajj — 75,000 for states and 20,000 for registered private tour operators.

It is not clear how these intending pilgrims would pay the additional balance of N1.9 million between Monday and Wednesday.

On the other hand, NAHCON said the March 28 deadline will be the last, and intending pilgrims who wish to withdraw their registration for the 2024 hajj “are advised to formally request for refund from their states which will be treated with all seriousness.”

“The next four days are crucial for stakeholders, especially those willing to intervene in support of their pilgrims, to take necessary actions and ensure smooth Hajj arrangements,” the commission said.



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