The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has allocated 1,600 Hajj seats to Taraba for the 2018 Holy Pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
Chairman, Taraba Muslim’s Pilgrims Welfare Board, Hamman-Adama Tukur, disclosed while speaking with newsmen in Jalingo.
According to Tukur, the figures indicated a slight increase of 143 seats, when compared to the 1,457 seats allocated to the state in 2017.
He said although the commission was yet to announce the price for the 2018 Hajj seats, about 150 intending pilgrims in the state had already deposited their money based on the 2017 price of N1.5 million per seat.
Mr Tukur said if NAHCON announce a price higher than the deposited amount, the intending pilgrims would pay up the balance, while the board would make refunds if the price is lower.
He lamented that the number of intending pilgrims who made the deposits was quite low compared to previous years.
“Last year over 900 intending pilgrims made payment, but this year only 150 people have so far made their payment,’’ Mr Tukur said.
He said that the rumoured increase in the Hajj fare by NAHCON might partly be responsible for the lower number of intending pilgrims who made deposit.
“The truth is that we are doing our best to give our pilgrims most effective service they deserve and that is why NAHCON recently rate our board in group A, which keeps us at par with frontline states like Kano and Kaduna.
“As I speak with you, we have secured accommodation and made the necessary arrangements for our pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, during our recent trip to the Holy land. So you can see, we are working,” Mr Tukur said.
The chairman urged intending pilgrims who were yet to make deposits to hasten payment before the May 2018 deadline.