Lagos pegs first deposit for Hajj 2023 at N2.6m

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File: SA to Governor of Lagos State on Religious Matters (Muslim), Alhaji Ahmed Jebe, Left, and other pilgrims on board an aircraft, enroute Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, during the last Hajj exercise.

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By BASHIR ADEFAKA

An initial deposit of N2,640,000 has been fixed by the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board for Hajj, the holy pilgrimage to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2023.

This was disclosed by the state’s Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi, via a statement through which he directed all intending pilgrims that could not perform the year 2022 Hajj and had not collected their money from the Lagos State Government to pay the sum of N1.3 million in addition to the initial deposit of N1.3 million paid between 2019 and 2022.

The DEFENDER gathered, however, that the N2.6 million being fixed for the coming exercise is about the same price paid for the last exercise during the 2022 as against what was paid in the previous year (2019), which was less than N1.5 million paid.

It will be called that 2019 was the last time Nigerian pilgrims performed Hajj as Saudi government closed borders to pilgrims from outside of the kingdom during the 2020 and excluded Nigeria among listed other countries during the 2021 exercise both due to issues of Coronavirus pandemic lockdown and other cautionary measures taken globally in fighting the dreaded disease.

In Lagos, also, some of the intending pilgrims including those who are deceased recently got a refund of their deposit on request.

The commissioner in the statement by Taofeek Lawal, Asstant Director, Public Affairs Ministry of Homes Affairs, said each of the intending pilgrims is expected to raise a ‘bank draft’ to be submitted to the board.

He stressed that no intending pilgrim should pay the money into any individual account, warning that whoever does so is on his/her own.

While urging them to start paying the money as soon as possible, Elegushi stressed that if there is going to be any additional charge to the N2.640 million, the board would inform them on time.

The commissioner had earlier assured the intending pilgrims who left their money with the state government between 2019 and 2022 for the forthcoming 2023 exercise would be given priority when the exercise commences.


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