Oyo gets 995 Hajj slots, registers over 500
Oyo State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board said 995 slots have been allocated to the state by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) for 2019.
The board chairman, Alhaji Taofeek Akewugbagold, disclosed this while explaining the level of preparation for this year’s hajj.
Akewugbagold described the turnout of intending pilgrims from the state as encouraging, as over 500 have so far registered and paid for the exercise.
According to him, the board would commence inoculation, blood screening and orientation of intending pilgrims by the first week of April, for them to know what was expected of them in Saudi Arabia.
“By May 20, everything needed to be done on this year’s hajj should have been perfected based on the NAHCON timetable and I am trying to perfect it to make it easier for the incoming board,” he said.
He said the board was currently collecting N1,247,000 as hajj fare, while the reduction or increment on the fare would depend on the directive from NAHCON and not the state.
Meanwhile, NAHCON has debunked stories on social media that hajj fare is now N1.8 million, noting that the commission is yet to approve final fare expected of intending pilgrims.
It, however, insisted the indices that determine final fare for hajj were yet to be arrived at by the state pilgrims’ bureaus and other stakeholders.
The spokesperson, Fatima Usara, stated that pilgrims’ registration would requires a tentative deposit of N1.5 million in bank draft, with any of the certified state Muslim pilgrims’ boards, agencies or commissions.
The hajj commission has also released an updated list of approved 2019 licenced tour operators with the corresponding number of slots allocated to each.
This followed a two-day hearing and verification of claims by the NAHCON committee set up for Consideration of Appeals by Appellant Companies for 2019 Hajj.
A total of 115 out of 147 companies that applied for the licence have so far been approved to participate in the year’s Umrah and hajj exercises. The applications were submitted online.