No fewer than 1,403 intending pilgrims from Kwara State, North Central Nigeria are expected to perform 2022 Hajj.
The Executive Secretary of the State’s Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji AbdulGaniyi Ahmed, confirmed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in llorin, the State’s capital Monday.
Ahmed said that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCOM) had agreed on how it would distribute the over one million seats allocated to Nigeria by the Saudi Arabian authorities.
He said that the 1,403 seats allocated to Kwara were approved during the meeting of the chief executives of state Muslim pilgrims’ welfare boards, agencies and commissions in Abuja.
According to him, Kwara got the slots based on the State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board’s performance during the 2019 Hajj operation.
“The Saudi Arabia Government approved one million slots for the whole world for 2022. Nigeria got over a million seats out of which Kwara got 1,403”, the Executive Secretary said.
Ahmed said that intending pilgrims above 65 years’ old would not be permitted to perform the pilgrimage following COVID-19 pandemic rule.
Ahmed said that each intending pilgrim wishing to embark on the holy journey would be expected to pay N2.5million.
He said that this might be increased or reduced later depending on the exchange rate of the dollar to the naira when the pilgrims would be ready to travel for the Hajj.
“NAHCOM is still computing the specific Hajj fare to be paid by every prospective pilgrim for 2022 Hajj taking cognizance of what will be the exchange rate of the dollar to the naira then. That will affect the cost of aviation fuel and other logistics,’’ he said.
The Executive Secretary commended the Kwara State Government for its numerous efforts which he said had always ensured that the board had successful Hajj operations in the past.