NAHCON should increase BTA Instead of making Refunds after Hajj,  By Adamu Musa Bilal

by admin

Dear Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Mallam Jalal Ahmad Arabi, I write on behalf of myself and tens of thousands of Nigerian intending pilgrims to beseech you to consider increasing our Basic Travel Allowance (BTA) before making any refund.

We have so far seen a lot of successes recorded since you assumed office as the chairman of the commission. Despite the challenges encountered, you and your team have shown resilience and unwavering commitment to ensure pilgrims get the best welfare and hitch-free hajj exercise. 

The level of transparency and accountability in your regime is topnotch.

We all know the country have been struggling with a prolonged foreign exchange riddle that has delayed economic progress, devalued local currency (Naira) and generally worsened inflation.  This necessitates the increase in the hajj fare after earlier announcement of the final fare.  

The NAHCON has really help out those of us under the Hajj Savings Scheme by covering the additional N1.9m. The federal government’s intervention to support the intending pilgrims to ensure we participate in this year’s hajj pilgrimage in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is highly commendable. 

Many state Governors has also extended their helping hands by intervening on the matter, either by paying whole or part of the additional fee. To say thank you is not enough, we will repay this kind gesture by praying for our various states and the country.

I recently came across a report in one of the media outlet saying that, this year’s hajj BTA that will be given to the pilgrims is $500 and NAHCON has already informed the States Pilgrims Welfare Board to communicate to their various pilgrims. 

Recall that pilgrims were paid $800 as BTA since 2016 until last year when $100 was deducted as charges to reroute flights due to Sudan crisis that made the airspace a no-fly-zone. So pilgrims gladly received their $700 knowing fully the obvious reason for the deduction. If the report was true, $500 is way too small looking at the important of BTA which enable pilgrims access to foreign currency to cater for personal expenses during the hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia. 

Intending pilgrims were shocked by the news after been exhausted due to the high cost of the fare. Sir, you also stated in an interview that there is going to be a possible refund to pilgrims due to Naira appreciation in the foreign exchange market. On this note, I want to plead with you and your team to please consider increasing the BTA for us to have a hitch-free exercise, before making any possible refund. Thank you.

Adamu Musa Bilal, an intending pilgrim 

Wrote from Bauchi State

[email protected]


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