NAHCON sets Hajj fare for 2023 pilgrims
By Mukhtar Tijjani
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has pegged the hajj fare for each intending pilgrim for 2023 at N2.89 million.
The chairman of NAHCON, Zikrullah Hassan, made the disclosure on Friday, attributing the increment to inflation in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
Hassan said the price is of 8 categories, with Borno and Yobe States as the lowest price while the highest is Lagos and Ogun States, N2.99m.
Daily Trust reports that the increase is over N300,000 compared to what was paid during the 2022 hajj.
“Hajj fare has 8 different costs, pilgrims from Maiduguri and Yola, will pay 2.89m other northern states 2.919m.
The southern part of the country has six different prices: Edo State and the other states in the South South and South East will pay N2.96 million, while Ekiti and Ondo States will pay N2.88 million, and Osun State will pay N2.99 million.
Cross River to pay N2.943 million and Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo to pay N2.99 million,” he stated.
He explained the disparity in the price is because states in the north are closer to Saudi Arabia than the states in the south, and the accommodation secured by each state also determines the amount they would pay.
He said the airlines approved for airlifting pilgrims from states are Air Peace, Azman Air, Fly Nas, Aero Contractors, and Max Air, while Arik Air and Value Jet were approved as chartered aircraft for private tour operators.
He added that the Commission would close the portal for those who choose hajj saving schemes by April 21.
“We decided to do this to ensure that all operation activities are not dragged out, and May 21 will be the inaugural flight.”
“We are committed to taking every single citizen that registered for hajj this year.”
“The reason for the increase is due to the high inflation rates in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, the high cost of goods and services in Saudi Arabia, and the scarcity of aviation fuel.”
Also, there has been an increase in the exchange rate of the naira to the dollar at the official rate, so we tried to keep the fare at a minimum level while taking a view of the economic condition of the people going for hajj.
He added that the rise in the fare is not limited to Nigeria alone, as other countries that have declared their hajj fares have announced increases.
“There is a hike from other parts of the world like Ghana, Pakistan, India, and Niger, among others,” he said.
He also assured that there would be no obstacles during the process, as it would not tolerate delays in ferrying pilgrims to the holy land.