The Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board has begun the collection of N1.2 million from prospective pilgrims as initial deposit for the 2019 hajj fare.
The Executive Secretary of the board, Alhaji Muhammad Abba-Danbatta, made this disclosure while briefing newsmen in Kano on Thursday.
He said even though the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria had directed state the pilgrims welfare boards to collect N1.5 million as initial deposit, but based on experience, the board decided to collect N1.2 million.
According to him, it is expected that any intending pilgrim, who paid N1.2m will not find it difficult to offset the balance when the final fare is announced.
Abba-Dantata said: “Based on experience, last year’s hajj fare was a little over N1.4m, so anybody, who pays N1.2m will find it easy to pay the balance after the final fare is announced.”
The Executive Secretary said as soon as intending pilgrims paid the initial deposit, the board would register them for the commencement of the other processes as the final collection of the hajj fares will close by the end of February 2019.
He said: “NAHCON has fixed the end of February 2019 as the last date for the collection of the hajj fares from the state pilgrims welfare boards.
“So we expect intending pilgrims to start paying their deposit to enable the board to begin preparations early.”
On the 2018 hajj exercise, Abba-Danbatta described it as successful and lauded Governor Abdullahi Ganduje for the support he had been giving to the board.
He said nine out of 13 people, who could not complete payment of the fare in 2018 had since been refunded their money while the remaining four persons had indicated their intention to perform the hajj this year.
The Executive Secretary said that during the 2018 hajj, three pilgrims from the state lost their lives in the holy land.
On Umra (lesser hajj), the Executive Secretary said the board had concluded arrangements for the commencement its operation.