Saudi Arabia imposes N163,000 levy for non-first-timer Nigerian pilgrims

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Saudi Arabian authorities have imposed a compulsory levy of N163,000 on all prospective Nigerian pilgrims, who have performed Hajj or Umrah in the last two years, the Chairman of the National Hajj Commission, NAHCON, Abdullahi Mukhtar, has disclosed.

Mr Mukhtar said the levy could be as a result of the introduction of a five per cent Value Added Tax on all services, excluding food items and medical drugs by the Saudi authorities.

The chairman, who made the disclosure in Sokoto on Saturday at a sensitization campaign in Sokoto, said the levy is exclusive of the substantive fare for the 2018 Hajj that is yet to be announced by the federal government.

The NAHCON boss, who was represented by the National Commissioner in Charge of Operations, Abdullahi Sale, said the levy was announced by the Saudi Arabian Hajj Ministry and it became fully effective during the 2017 Hajj exercise.