The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has allocated no fewer than 43,000 seats to Nigeria for the 2022 Hajj.
The Executive Secretary, Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Muhammad Abba Dambatta, disclosed this to reporters in Kano, yesterday.
This, he said was revealed to him by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, (NAHCON) on Tuesday.
He said NAHCON had also invited all heads of State Pilgrims Welfare Boards across the country for a meeting in Abuja, today, adding that they were expecting to receive Hajj allocations for each state.
He noted that the quota given to Nigeria was reasonable in view of the fact that in 2019, when Saudi allocated 95,000 seats to Nigeria, only 47,000 pilgrims, both state and international, participated in the holy exercise.
Danbatta said the state pilgrims Welfare Board would not register new pilgrims until it finishes registering 2020/2021 intending pilgrims, who paid their deposit but could not go to Hajj due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Executive Secretary also disclosed that intending Pilgrims would witness an increase in Hajj fare, noting that the increase would be largely due to exchange rate and services.
He explained that there was an increase of 15 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) in Saudi, saying there would be expectation that all the prices for services to be rendered for the pilgrims in the Holy Land would be increased.
“Saudia said the existing shuttle buses used should be changed completely because they have been in use for over 10 years. Now brand new buses would be used to transport pilgrims. In this regard, the price for this service will be increased.
“So also accommodation, the Saudi authorities said new houses should be used for the 2022 Hajj, so they would be increased in this regard.
“If you look at feeding, due to the increase in VAT, feeding charges will also be up. This is in addition to the Coronavirus test before going to Saudi and on returning to Nigeria. All these are factors to be considered this year,” Dambatta said.
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