By Ahmad Tijjani Abdul Kano
National President, Association of Hajj/Umarah Tour Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji Yahya Suleiman Nasidi, on Wednesday hinted that private pilgrims may have to coughed out N6 million to perform 2024 Hajj rituals.
Alhaji Yahya Suleiman Nasidi who spoke in Kano during the 2024 Hajj sensitization Seminar, with a theme, “Hajj 2024 New Challenges, Boundless Opportunity explained that instability in forex exchange was the driving force for the hike.
Nasidi stressed that “intending private pilgrims for 2024 Hajj will have to pay N6 million as against the last year 2023 N3 Million, due to problems of foreign exchange and other related issues.”
Nasidi said although they have been in the business for over 15 years, “we have not been receiving forex from Government, yet we do our businesses from what’s available in the market”.
Alhaji Yahya Suleiman tasked intending pilgrims wishing to perform Hajj this year 2024 to endeavor to pay their Hajj fare as early as possible”.
The President, warned that if by the end of November this 2023, one did not pay his fare, he has to just be preparing for 2025, because this time Saudi has come with a system the whole issues of Hajj must be completed with last Hajj Visa must be issued in April 2024, which means all payments all Services have been concluded.”
“So if payment is not made one can’t get Visa and can’t travel, so the problems is from all angles the Forex issue this is a problems that even if we are going to get it from outside we still need to transfer it as an offshore payment.”
The President however said last year, we had 276 operators that goes to Saudi Arabia, but this year we are having only 10 that is Saudi arrangements now only 10 operators would transport the 20,000, allocated pilgrims to us”.
In a speech during the seminar, the Deputy National President in Charge of Hajj, Alhaji AbdulJaleel Olori-Aje, said, ” our main problems is time constraints, we are to round up in about two months time this is first time Hajj is coming in this fashion”.
“But we will try our best to see that we meet up although people’s are not willing to come and make commitments we are the last point of calls when it’s comes to Hajj it is only when the doors of Pilgrims Boards and NAHCON are closed people’s remember us but this time around even our own will be closed too”.
He said “Our Saudi Account needs to be found before the closure that is why we needs the commitments of the Hajj Commission and the government to allow us meet up the challenges.”