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Group asks Tinubu, governors to give pilgrim agencies loans to secure hajj slots

Group asks Tinubu, governors to give pilgrim agencies loans to secure hajj slots
January 07
21:27 2024

The Serve the Pilgrims Initiative (SPI), a civil society organisation (CSO), has asked the federal and state governments to give pilgrim agencies loans to secure the seats allocated to them ahead of the hajj registration deadline for 2024.

Yakubu Fagge, SPI chairman, in a statement on Sunday, said for hajj 2024, Saudi Arabia authorities allocated 95,000 slots to Nigeria.

He said Nigeria’s failure to meet the allocated quota will affect the allocation it will get for hajj in 2025.

Fagge said the hajj fare advance “would be in the form of a bailout loan that would be paid back after the prospective pilgrims must have completed their payment after Ramadan”.

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He urged intending pilgrims to utilise the 30-day extension window provided by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to complete their payments.

“The SPI is appealing to the state and federal governments to give out these loans to enable their various pilgrims’ agencies to secure their allocations ahead of the Saudi deadline,” Fagge said.

“It is not going to be free funds. The fund would be refunded after all payments have been completed.

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“The bailout would go a long way in securing the seats allocated to the states and also safeguard the hajj quota allocated to Nigeria by the Saudi authorities.”

SPI also appealed to the federal government to allow intending pilgrims access the dollar at the exchange rate of N750 as captured in the 2024 appropriation bill as passed by the national assembly and assented to by President Bola Tinubu.

The CSO commended NAHCON  for extending the period of registration for Nigerian intending hajj pilgrims.

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