National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has charged states’ pilgrim boards and travel agencies involved in the 2018 hajj operations to commence early arrangements for biometric data capturing of their intending pilgrims.
The commission said currently, centres have been designated in Abuja, Kano and Lagos for the biometric registration even as it announced that plans were on to increase the centres .
NANCON’s Director of Personnel, Policy Management and Finance, Dr. Yusuf Adebayo Ibrahim, said this in Ilorin at a sensitisation programme for stakeholders on Saudi Arabia new policies on hajj operation.
Ibrahim said the commission and the federal government were prevailing on the Saudi Arabia authorities to excuse pilgrims from Nigeria in the biometric capturing this year but insisted that stakeholders must start early preparations to capture intending pilgrims.
He said in the event where the Saud Arabian authorities did not yield to pressure, stakeholders must avoid a situation where intending pilgrims would be subjected to difficulties of last minute rush.
He also cautioned intending pilgrims against wasteful spending as the Saudi Arabian government had introduced Value Added Tax (VAT) on every items bought in the Holy Land during the pilgrimage.
He also warned those willing to stand as guarantors to intending pilgrims to be weary of people that have tendencies to abscond because according to him, ‘‘there is no hiding place for them’’.