Just days to thr deadline for payment for 2024 HAJJ pilgrimage, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has called on all intending pilgrims that have made their initial deposit to pay up their balance.
The Director FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Abubakar Adamu-Evuti, who announced the February 12 date deadline, noted that for those that made initial deposit of four million five hundred thousand naira has the balance of one hundred and ninety nine thousands naira balance to make full deposit of four million, six hundred and ninety nine thousands naira 2025 hajj fare.
Evuti opined that those that have interest to perform this year’s HAJJ but have not yet made any payment can use the four days window to do so.
He added that: “So far over two thousand intending pilgrims have so far paid for their fare out of four thousand, three hundred and sixty five FCT allocations by the National HAJJ commission. gathered that the airlifting of intending pilgrims will start on the 19 May, while the orientation exercise ends in April.
“You are well aware that The Nation Hajj Commission, September last year flagged off the 2024 Hajj Season. Just like other states we were directed to commence the season’s activity and we announced it to the public.
“The National Hajj Commission had pegged the initial deposit at 4.5 million naira. We told the intended pilgrims to go ahead to go to their banks and raise a draft in favour of FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board to the 4.5million Naira that was pegged by the National Hajj Commission.
“The 6 Area Councils will have our representatives there, so whichever area council you want to raise the bank draft you can, because of proximity and convenience.
“You can raise your bank draft in the Headquarters if you wish to raise your draft, pay and you’d be issued your receipt. We do not collect cash in the FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, all payments are done in bank drafts, we issue receipt then we’d issue a form immediately.
“We expect you to go home with the form and fill it. When you are submitting you submit it, with photographs and valid international passport, accompanied with a NIN slip with has a valid National Identity Number.
“The National Hajj Commission had given the FCT an allocation of 4368 pilgrims. The process has begun since and we are now in February. Between that time to date we have registered close to 2500 pilgrims already.
“This season we have a challenge of timeline because the registration had always been open ended up till day of take off but the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has come up with a new timeline which indicates that all registrations, collection of data and payment by pilgrims must close at least 45 days before Arafat.
“In view of this, NAHCON has issued a statement that all registrations, collection of data and Hajj fares for the 2024 by pilgrims should be closed by February 12th.
“By 1st of March, issuance of Visa will begin and By April 29th issuance of Visa will also be closed. By May 9th or May 11th, as the case may be, the first batch from Nigerians to the Holy land will take off.
“We will adhere to these timelines strictly, considering the way and manner Saudi Arabia adhere to all the rules and regulations coming with that.”
The director however, warned that with the new regulations from Saudi Arabia, there will be no room for late registration, as he said that sensitization exercise which is ongoing would be on hold only during the Ramadan period.
Commenting on accomodations, the Director said with massive support received from FCT minister, Nyesom Wike and minister of state Mariya Muhammad, the board have secured good accomodations in the city of Tashir following their pre-visit to the holy land of Saudi Arabia.
He also urged all intending pilgrims to disclose their health status, as people with health challenge are not allowed for the spiritual exercise likewise the pregnant women.