The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has warned intending pilgrims to disregard fraudulent advertisements linked to the sponsorship and payment of the 2021 Hajj pilgrimage.
The NAHCON Head of Public Affairs, Fatima Sanda-Usara, gave the warning in a statement issued on Friday.
According to the statement, some fraudsters are out to swindle intending pilgrims by extorting different amount of money from them.
The statement said: “It has come to our notice that a so called Non-Governmental Organization is collecting intending pilgrims’ money, N50, 000 for form and another N100, 000.00 for free $100,000 BTA (Basic Travelling Allowance) with the promise of sponsoring eligible candidates to Hajj for free.
“No such organization is registered with the Commission and no unregistered company is authorized to organize Hajj or collect monies for Hajj for anyone or any group of persons.
“NAHCON distances itself from such unlicensed organizations and is warning the public to be cautious and report any such person or group collecting money for Hajj illegally.
The commission disclosed that those allowed to collect Hajj fare deposits are State Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards/Commissions/Agencies, Licensed Tour Operators and Ja’iz Bank under the Hajj Savings Scheme arrangement.
“Apart from these three, any order channel should be considered illegal. Please find a list of Licensed Tour Operators on NAHCON’s website: https://www.nigeriahajjcom.gov.ng.
“Consequently, the Commission here advises State Pilgrims Welfare Boards to sensitize their states’ Muslim public using dominant local languages thorough any possible means during enlightenment programs.
“And that they must pay for Hajj only through NAHCON authorized channels.
“NAHCON Zonal coordinators are also encouraged to make a list of Licensed Tour Operators under their zones and share with state welfare boards as well as display the same in their head offices for public consumption,” the statement added.