No fewer than 1,403 intending pilgrims from Kwara are expected to perform the 2022 Hajj in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
AbdulGaniyi Ahmed, the Executive Secretary of the Kwara Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, stated this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in llorin on Monday.
Mr Ahmed said that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCOM, had agreed on how it would distribute the 43,000 seats allocated to Nigeria out of the one million seats allocated to all the countries worldwide by the Saudi Arabian authorities.
He said that the 1,403 seats allocated to Kwara out of the 43,000 meant for Nigeria were approved during the meeting of the chief executives of state Muslim pilgrims’ welfare boards, agencies and commissions in Abuja.
According to him, Kwara got the slots based on the State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board’s performance during the 2019 Hajj operation.
“The Saudi Arabian Government approved one million slots for the whole world for 2022. Nigeria got 43,000 seats out of which Kwara got 1,403”, the Executive Secretary said.
Mr Ahmed said that intending pilgrims above 65 years’ old would not be permitted to perform the pilgrimage following COVID-19 pandemic rule.
Mr Ahmed said that each intending pilgrim wishing to embark on the holy journey would be expected to pay N2.5million.
He said that this might be increased or reduced later depending on the exchange rate of the dollar to the naira when the pilgrims would be ready to travel for the Hajj.
“NAHCOM is still computing the specific Hajj fare to be paid by every prospective pilgrim for 2022 Hajj taking cognisance of what will be the exchange rate of the dollar to the naira then. That will affect the cost of aviation fuel and other logistics,’’ he said.
The Executive Secretary commended the Kwara Government for its numerous efforts which he said had always ensured that the board had successful Hajj operations in the past.