2023 Hajj fares: NAHCON threatens to sanction states exploiting intending pilgrims

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), on Tuesday, threatened to sanction any erring state pilgrims welfare boards that charge their intending pilgrims beyond the official fares jointly agreed upon by the commission and the state boards, saying that the 2023 fare remains less than N3 million.

The Hajj body declared that the total Hajj fare remained the one it announced on Friday, April 7, and was inclusive of local charges for all categories of pilgrims under the state pilgrims welfare agencies.

A press release signed by NAHCON Deputy Director, Information and Publications, Mousa Ubandawaki, made available to NEWS FLASH stated that any states exploiting their intending pilgrims would either have their operational license revoked and or 2023 Hajj allocation withdrawn with immediate effect.

According to Ubandawaki, “It has come to the attention of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) that there are a lot of distortions floating around in the wake of the announcement of the 2023 final Hajj fare by the Commission as some states are announcing fare different from the ones jointly agreed by the states and the Commission and as approved by the government.

“Therefore, we hasten to hereby reiterate the followings: Firstly, that the total Hajj fare remains the one announced by the Commission on Friday, 7th April, 2023 which is less than N3,000,000 (Three million naira) inclusive of local charges for all category of pilgrims under the State Pilgrims Welfare Agencies.”

The commission appealed to all stakeholders to work harmoniously with the Hajj body as a team with a view to avoiding any measure of exploitation of pilgrims.

“It is important to appeal to all the stakeholders that we should work as a team in harmony and under a conducive and peaceful atmosphere, such that we avoid any measure of exploitation of the Pilgrims.

“While we are not unmindful of the financial situation in some states, however, we hasten to reiterate that the Commission will not hesitate to sanction erring states (SPWBs) by either revoking its operational license and or withdrawing the 2023 Hajj allocation with immediate effect,” the release stated.

NAHCON then reiterated its commitment “to the welfare of our pilgrims and ensure that they have value for money in terms of the price and facilities they will enjoy during the pilgrimage”.

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The commission had on Friday last week announced eight categories of fares for intending pilgrims for the 2023 Hajj, with the least being N2.88 million, while the highest was N2.99 million.

Accounting for the fares, NAHCON Chiarman, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, said intending pilgrims from Maiduguri and Yola would pay N2,890,000, while others from other northern states would pay N2,919,000.

For southern states, Osun State intending pilgrims will pay N2,990,000, while those from Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states will pay N2,999,000.

While those from Ekiti and Ondo states will pay N2,880,000, those from Cross River State will pay N2,943,000. Those from Edo State and other South-South states and South-East states will pay the sum of N2,968,000.