The Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board has fixed N4.9 million as the final cost for the this year’s Hajj exercise in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The announcement is in conformity with the one as announced by the Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi over the weekend.
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ibrahim Layode, in a statement signed by the Board Secretary, Mr. Saheed Onipede, urged the intending pilgrims, especially those that had fully paid the initial deposit of N4.5 million to endeavour to pay the balance of N399,000 on or before February 12, to meet up with the deadline given by NAHCON.
Expressing the state government’s regrets over the increment, Layode said that the development was least expected at a time when every Nigerian was trying hard to survive the economic downturn in the country as a result of the instability in the dollar to naira exchange rate.
While pleading with the intending pilgrims to show understanding, he stated that the situation was beyond the control of the state government. He explained further that the expectation of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration and other stakeholders was to have the initial deposit of N4.5 million reduced to the bearest minimum. He however, prayed that Allah would make the payment of the balance easy for them within the stipulated period and also make the spiritual exercise an acceptable one for them.
The commissioner assured the intending pilgrims of a seamless exercise throughout their stay in the Holy Land.
He affirmed that the state government had secured a conducive and comfortable accommodation befitting its status nearer to the Haram in Makkah, adding that other initiatives have also been put in place with a view to making the intending pilgrims enjoy maximum comfort whilst performing the Hajj rites. (Nation)