NAHCON Increases Hajj Fare by N1.9m

The National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) in a recent announcement said intending pilgrims preparing for the 2024 journey to Saudi Arabia will face an unexpected hike in fare.

The commission revealed that the fare for this year’s pilgrimage has surged by N1,918,032.91, attributing it to the on-going foreign exchange crisis gripping the nation.

According to Fatima Sanda Usara, the spokesperson for NAHCON, the decision to increase the fare was made due to challenges posed by the foreign exchange crisis.

Usara emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, “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 initial fare for the pilgrimage was set at N4.9 million, but due to the currency fluctuations and challenges in forex rates, pilgrims who have already paid the initial amount are now required to add a balance, raising the total to N6.8 million.

In a statement released by NAHCON, the commission acknowledged the complexities surrounding the fare adjustments, stating, “Federal Government saw wisdom in deliberately intervening on behalf of the Nigerian intending pilgrims through various strategies including persuading cost reductions.”

Despite efforts by the government to mitigate the impact on pilgrims, challenges persist, with approximately 50,000 pilgrims having already paid the previous fare.

NAHCON is urging stakeholders, including state governments and affluent individuals, to intervene on behalf of their pilgrims to alleviate the financial burden.

The commission reassured stakeholders of its commitment to ensuring equitable treatment for all registered pilgrims, with each individual required to pay the balance in accordance with the current foreign exchange rate.

NAHCON emphasized the deadline for payment, indicating that the system would be shut down by March 29th, 2024, with no further payments accepted thereafter.