The Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board (KSPWB) has officially begun the sales of 2024 Hajj seats pegged at an initial minimum deposit of N4.5 million.
Subsequently, the board has directed its center officers across the 44 local councils to swing into full exercise with the registration of intended pilgrims who have raised their draft and received a receipt from the board.
The announcement signaled the full commencement of preparation for next year’s pilgrimage to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a few days after the board presented a report of 2023 activities to Governor Abba Kabiru Yusuf.
Addressing the media, the Director General of the board, Alhaji Laminu Rabi’u, said the opening sales of the 2024 exercise followed the directive of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on state pilgrims Boards ahead of the Saudi Arabia deadline.
The DG explained that Kano has allocated 5,934 seats for next year’s pilgrimage which would be allocated to intending pilgrims and enrollees of Hajj Savings Schemes on 60 and 40 per cent respectively.
Alh. Laminu further assured those who would make payments for the 2023 Hajj but were unable to secure a visa for the spiritual exercise would be placed on the priority list for next year’s pilgrimage. Although the DG reminded that over N270 million refunds were made by the board to those who sought it, he added that an automatic slot will be provided to those who left their money for the next Hajj.
Although the Kano Pilgrims Board did not announce the deadline for the N4.5 million deposit, NAHCON had pegged the first week of November 2023, for interested persons to remit their deposits.
On the high cost of 2024 fare, the DG explained that over 90 percent of Hajj components, including accommodation, feeding, and transport depend largely on dollars. He however regretted the weak strength of the naira against the dollar, which he said, was responsible for the sudden fare hike.
The DG who itemized some of the challenges recorded during the last exercise at the holy land, assured that 2024 would be a clear departure from previous experiences.
“We have launched the preparations for Hajj 2024 today. We have initiated the sale of the seats after completing the allocation of 60 percent of the seats to the 44 Local Government areas of Kano State. We have instructed Local Government Centre Officers to start collecting deposits from intending pilgrims,” he stated.