The Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board has announced the sum of N1.3 million as tentative fare for the 2018 Hajj exercise.
Speaking on the development, Mr Muftau Okoya, Executive Secretary of the board, disclosed that sale of forms for the 2018 exercise has also commenced.
He revealed that the early commencement of preparations was to avoid hiccups and to make payment easy and flexible for intending pilgrims.
“Intending pilgrims are to collect forms from the Board’s office in Ikeja at the cost N10,000. In respect of the Hajj fare, an initial deposit of N1.3 million has been approved, pending when the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) will release the official price.
“There is also an opportunity for installmental payment with at least N100,000 minimum deposits,” he said.
Meanwhile, Okoya advised intending pilgrims to make payment on time to avoid logistics challenges experienced during last operation.
“We have commenced preparations early to avoid some of such challenges. The policy of first-come-first-served will be applied in the allocation of pilgrims to hotels, tents and other facilities by NAHCON,” he said.
He noted that the increase in the number of pilgrim allocation to countries without commensurate upgrade in facilities created a major challenge during the 2017 Hajj.
“Our greatest challenge in the last operation was in Muna. There was an upsurge in the number of pilgrims because Saudi authorities admitted too many pilgrims at the detriment of the available facilities.
“So the facilities were overstretched to the extent that Lagos pilgrims encountered the problem of accommodation in Muna.
“But Lagos State pilgrims put their maturity to test by ensuring that these challenges were overcome with patience and understanding,” Okoya said.