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Lagos State won’t sell hajj forms for 2023 pilgrimage, says Elegushi

By Shakirah Adunola
30 June 2022   |   2:45 am
Lagos State Government has said that it will put on hold sales of forms for 2023 holy pilgrimage, pending the confirmation of the number of slots to be given the state.

[FILES] Pilgrims performing hajj

Lagos State Government has said that it will put on hold sales of forms for the 2023 holy pilgrimage, pending the confirmation of the number of slots to be given to the state.

Commissioner for Home Affairs, Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi, who stated this, yesterday, during a press briefing at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja, said that the intending pilgrims, who could not make the 2022 hajj, would be given an order of priority.

Elegushi said the inability of the state to airlift any pilgrim since 2020, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, gave rise to a backlog of over 4,000 intending pilgrims at the time the Saudi Arabian authority opened her doors for the 2022 exercise.

He said that the 1,562 slots originally allocated to the state by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) were utilised immediately by the state’s intending pilgrims, adding that a further 250 slots given by NAHCON based on the expectation of additional 5,000 slots promised by the Saudi Arabian authority was not fulfilled, while the state had gone ahead to allocate the 250 slots, awaiting final processing of visa from the Kingdom.

The commissioner said the decline in fulfilling the 5,000 slots promised by the Saudi Arabian authorities had placed the state in a precarious situation.

He, however, assured the intending pilgrims of the state government’s support at all times and prayed for their safe return.