JUST IN: 2024 Hajj Fare Rises To N6.8m Amid Forex Crisis

2024 Hajj Fare Rises To N6.8m Amid Forex Crisis

2024 Hajj Fare Rises To N6.8m Amid Forex Crisis

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The National Hajj Commission of , (NAHCON) has declared an increase in the fare for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage to with additional rise of N1, 918,032.91 to bring the total cost to an unprecedented N6.8 million.

Fatima Sanda Usara, the spokesperson for NAHCON, revealed the changes through a statement on Sunday, outlining the financial adjustments and setting a firm deadline of March 28, 2024, for all payments to be completed.

This move comes in response to the ongoing foreign exchange crisis that has hit the country, impacting the initial fare estimation.

Originally, the pilgrimage fare was set at N4.9 million, a figure that has now been recalibrated to reflect the additional N1.9 million required from those who have already made their initial payments.

Below is the full statement:

“The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) appreciates the high level of understanding and concern that have been demonstrated to it publicly and privately over the 2024 Hajj fare dilemma it has plunged in.

This show of support gives the Commission hope that stakeholders would leave no stone unturned for the success of the forthcoming Hajj exercise. At this juncture, the Commission finds it imperative to give clarity regarding the 2024 Hajj fare arrangements.

It is widely acknowledged that Hajj preparation follows a strict time line. As for the 2024 Hajj, the preparatory time line released by Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah began earlier than usual and is expected to end before its normal timing. NAHCON endeavored to adhere to the schedule outlined by the Ministry.

However, none to late remittances of Hajj fare by those concerned necessitated adjustments, resulting in two shifts with the final being 12th of February 2024. Recall that as at 31st December 2023, was still at N897:00 to a Dollar at the banks.
These shifts unfortunately pushed the Hajj fare collection deadline to fall after harmonization of
foreign exchange rates, presenting a new and significant challenge.

What the harmonization meant in the Hajj fare equation was that in the of global financial challenges, coupled with the new forex policy, pilgrims would now be saddled with an unexpected increase in Hajj cost, despite having already paid the fixed fare of about N4.9
million, depending on the departure zone as approved by .

Federal Government saw wisdom in deliberately intervening on behalf of the Nigerian intending pilgrims through various strategies including persuading cost reductions. Unfortunately, the interventions could not cover the entire number that had met the final registration deadline.

This had remained the Commission's dilemma. To make matters worse, now about 50,000 pilgrims under the Public Quota have paid the hitherto announced fare of about N4.9million and their payments are currently under the of the Commission.

Considering the urgency of the situation, NAHCON was forced to explore various options, including encouraging State Governments and affluent individuals to intervene on behalf of their pilgrims.
This window still remains open. This will complement the intervention of the Federal
Government that went the extra mile to support the Nigerian pilgrims in the discharge of their religious obligation. Commendably, government's policy focus of bringing down the has given the Hajj fare reduction a boost.

The good news now is that with Naira having appreciated to N1, 474.00 to a Dollar over the preceding week and after due consultation with stakeholders, coupled with NAHCON's desire to ensure equitable spread of the Federal Government's intervention to all the already registered
pilgrims whose payments have been received, the Commission resolved that each pilgrim would now have to pay a balance of N1, 918,032.91 in accordance with the current foreign exchange rate.

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. Affected pilgrims are advised to visit their respective state pilgrims' boards to confirm their status.”

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