“We Don’t Have Extra Payment”: Intending Pilgrims Demand Refund Over N6.8m Hajj Fare

“We Don’t Have Extra Payment”: Intending Pilgrims Demand Refund Over N6.8m Hajj Fare

  • The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has explained that it pegged this year’s hajj fare at N6.8 million due to the high forex exchange rate
  • The amount, the commission said, was for intending hajj pilgrims who earlier paid N4.9 million to add a balance of N1.9 million
  • Intending pilgrims are not buying the idea and have demanded a refund of their money even as the commission noted that fresh applicants will pay N8.2 million

Legit.ng journalist Esther Odili has over two years of experience covering political parties and movements.

Following the decision of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to increase the 2024 hajj fare by N1.9 million, many intending pilgrims have asked the state Muslim pilgrims’ welfare boards to refund their deposits.

Intending Muslim pilgrims react to hike in 2024 hajj fare
Intending Muslim Pilgrims demand a refund after Nigerian commission raised hajj fees to N6.8million. Photo credit: zaihan/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Daily Trust reported that prominent civil society organisations and stakeholders, on Monday, March 25, called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to save this year’s hajj from “flopping.”

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Amid economic hardship, NAHCON increases Hajj fare by N1.9m for Nigerian pilgrims

Why NAHCON increased Hajj fare

Recall that NAHCON announced a rise in the cost of the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia for 2024.

The increase amounted to N1,918,032.91, as disclosed by the commission's spokesperson, Fatima Sanda Usara, in a statement issued on Sunday, March 24.

The commission announced a March 28, 2024, deadline for prospective pilgrims to complete their payments.

NAHCON said the increment was due to a high forex exchange rate, The Nation reported.

However, on Sunday, the commission asked those who had paid the initial amount to add N1.9 million, raising the total amount to N6.8 million.

Those who already paid N4.9 million demand refund

In Kano, there is uncertainty among intending pilgrims on the actual fare for the 2024 hajj exercise. Officials at the Kano State Pilgrims’ Board said they were yet to decide but an agreement was billed to be reached within the next 24 hours.

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“Attention”: Tinubu's govt gives fresh instruction to applicants who wish to collect N50K FG fund

In Kwara state, sources at the pilgrims’ board disclosed that many people have turned up to seek a refund, noting they would not be able to raise the balance.

“As I am talking to you, not more than 50 people have turned up to pay the balance today and we have just two days after today (Monday) for intending pilgrims to complete the money,” a source said.

In Lagos, it was reported that many people turned up on Monday to seek a refund, saying they didn’t have the extra payment.

“Some people came and said they can’t get that money while we have people who have equally turned up to complete the payment. It is a mixture that we are having. We still have today (Monday), tomorrow and next tomorrow,” an official said.

FG appoints 3 airlines for Hajj operation in 2024

The government has given the green light to three airlines to transport passengers for the 2024 Hajj within the country.

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Imo, Kogi, 29 other states owe CBN N340bn bailout funds used to pay workers' salaries

Additionally, three air cargo companies have been authorised to handle the excess luggage of pilgrims.

This approval underscores the government's commitment to ensuring Nigerian pilgrims have a smooth journey.

Source: Legit.ng

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