Hajj 2024: Hold Up Your Promise on Hajj Subsidy

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By Yusuf Abubakar

Nigerian pilgrims are urging the government to solidify its commitment to supporting the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage. This follows President Tinubu’s promise in February to ease the burden on intending pilgrims.

The crux of the issue lies in the discrepancy between the initially announced fare (N4.8 million) and the current financial constraints. The rising dollar rate has thrown a wrench into NAHCON’s plans, leaving a funding gap for service providers in Saudi Arabia.

Intending pilgrims, have since, completed payments based on the expectation of a government subsidy reflected in the N4.8 million fare. The lack of communication and updates regarding any potential adjustments has caused anxiety.

Given the President’s initial pledge, many believe the government should prioritize fulfilling that promise. This would involve securing a concessionary dollar rate of N800, allowing NAHCON to finalize payments and ensure a smooth Hajj experience for Nigerians.

The current ambiguity regarding government support is hindering preparations. A clear statement from the presidency outlining its position would allow NAHCON and state pilgrim boards to move forward.

We urge religious leaders, and other well-meaning Nigerians to appeal to President Tinubu. Their intervention is critical in addressing the challenges surrounding the 2024 Hajj preparations. Time is running out, and without a solution, Nigerian Muslims may be unable to perform Hajj in Saudi Arabia this year. This would be a deeply unfortunate consequence, and a united voice can help prevent it.

Yusuf Abubakar writes from No15, Mabera, Sokoto

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