In a move to ensure the smooth organization of the Hajj pilgrimage in 2024, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has issued an ultimatum to state pilgrims welfare boards. The commission has directed the boards to promptly remit a reasonable percentage of their pilgrims’ deposits for next year’s Hajj. Failure to comply with this directive by December 2023 will result in a reduction in the number of slots allocated to non-compliant states.
The urgency of this directive stems from the timeline set by Saudi authorities. The Arab Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has made it mandatory for every Hajj Mission intending to participate in the 2024 Hajj to remit their pilgrims’ deposits within a specified period. To comply with these regulations, the state boards must act swiftly.
Dr. Salihu A. Usman, the Director of Finance and Accounts at NAHCON, highlighted the importance of timely deposit remittance in a letter addressed to Chief Executives of State Pilgrims Welfare Boards, Agencies, and Commissions. He emphasized that failure to meet the deadline would be interpreted as unpreparedness and would result in a reduction of slot allocations. These slots would then be allocated to more prepared states, ensuring that all obligations are met and facilitating a seamless Hajj experience.
Additionally, non-compliance with the remittance directive would force NAHCON to reduce the allocation of states that have not completed their remittance, reallocating these slots to states that have fulfilled their obligations. The importance of adequately funding the Commission’s IBAN Account by December cannot be overstated, as it allows for timely payments and the smooth processing of activities in the Kingdom.
In a statement released by Mousa Ubandawaki, the Deputy Director of Information and Publication at NAHCON, continued cooperation and understanding from the state boards were emphasized. This cooperation is vital in meeting the deadline set by Saudi authorities and ensuring a hitch-free Hajj exercise in 2024.