Hajj Registration below 50% Amid Forex Crisis as Payment closes Today


Due to financial constraints and the devaluation of the Nigerian currency, Naira, Nigeria may struggle to occupy all 95,000 slots allocated for this year’s pilgrimage. The hike in hajj fares, now standing at N4.9 million compared to the initial N4.5 million, has deterred many intending pilgrims from completing their payments.


Following a modification in exchange rate calculation methodology, the Naira plummeted to a historic low on January 30, 2024, trading at 1,413 against the dollar. Consequently, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) adjusted hajj fares, with southern states’ pilgrims required to pay N4,899,000, northern states’ pilgrims N4,699,000, and those from Yola and Maiduguri N4,679,000.

The final payment deadline, set by Saudi Arabia for February 25, has pushed intending pilgrims to expedite their payment process. However, many states have yet to fill half of their allocated slots, posing a significant challenge for NAHCON.

In Kano State, only 2,600 out of 5,993 seats have been paid for, while other states like Katsina, Adamawa, and Niger face similar under-subscription issues. Despite over 6,000 hajj seats allocated to Kaduna State, only 4,000 intending pilgrims have collected payment tellers.

The high fare, attributed to the devaluation of the Naira, has led to concerns about Nigeria’s ability to fill its quota. A former chairman of TAFSAN Travels and Tour expressed skepticism about meeting the target, citing the unaffordability of hajj fares for many Nigerians.

NAHCON’s Assistant Director of Public Affairs confirmed the low registration trend but stated it’s not exclusive to Nigeria, as countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh also struggle to fill their allocated slots. She encouraged Nigerians to embrace the Hajj Savings Scheme to mitigate the impact of currency volatility.

In recent years, the number of Nigerian hajj pilgrims has fluctuated, with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting international pilgrimages in 2020 and 2021. However, Nigeria successfully filled all 43,000 and 95,000 slots allocated in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Read also:

Kano Sold 2,600 Hajj Seats out of 5,943

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