By Ikugbadi Oluwasegun
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has fixed the 2024 hajj fare despite the unstable foreign exchange rate in Nigeria.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Saturday by Fatima Sanda Usara, Assistant Director, Public Affairs of NAHCON, She said, “It would be recalled that Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi, Chairman of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) had initially aimed to maintain the 2024 Hajj fare at N4.5 million that was charged as initial deposit. The prospects had remained high until the well-known Naira crash that occurred mid-week. Regrettably, the recent instability in the Dollar exchange rate compelled a necessary adjustment despite commendable efforts by NAHCON Chairman, Jalal Ahmad Arabi to maintain the cost of the year’s Hajj at the said rate.
Chairman Arabi had actively negotiated substantial discounts with service providers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in late January, striving to alleviate costs for intending pilgrims. However, the volatile currency situation within the week necessitated the Commission to take a drastic decision to consolidate the gains achieved in lowering the cost of services for the Hajj, without which the price of the 2024 Muslim pilgrimage might have shot to about N6,000,000 (six million Naira).
Consequently, intending pilgrims from Nigeria’s Southern centre are required to pay N4,899,000 as Hajj fare; those from the Northern centre will pay N4,699,000, for the Hajj and pilgrims from Yola and Maiduguri centre will pay a fee of N4,679,000 for the 2024 Hajj.
While expressing his regret, Chairman Arabi stated that this is the will of Allah, because the Commission, facing a tight deadline of 25th February, has limited time to explore further options to remain within the range of N4.5 million which he assiduously worked for. Consequently, NAHCON announces the feasible cost of Hajj to meet the impending remittance deadline.
Intending pilgrims are therefore advised to balance their Hajj fare by Monday 12th of February accordingly to enable the Commission to transfer the funds before the imminent deadline.
NAHCON assures the public of its commitment to ensuring a smooth and successful Hajj pilgrimage for all participants despite the challenges posed by foreign exchange factors. The Commission appreciates the understanding and cooperation of the Nigerian Muslim community during these times.