Kogi state Muslim Pilgrim Welfare Board has disclosed that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has allocated 717 slots to the state for this year’s hajj.
Executive Chairman of the board, Lukman Abdullah, who made the disclosure yesterday in Lokoja, said the figure was far less than the 838 slots allocated to the state in 2017.
Abdullah spoke during a courtesy call on the Chairman of the state Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Adeiza Momoh Jimoh.
He, however, said the board was making efforts to get additional slots, adding that preparations for the 2018 hajj had commenced.
Abdullah, who said the greatest challenge facing the board and intending pilgrims was time, noted that all intending pilgrims had been given March 31 deadline to complete the payment of N1.5 million hajj fare.
The chairman reiterated that the green color e-passport, national identity card and medical report are compulsory for all intending pilgrims.
He said that accommodation had been secured near the sacred mosques in Mecca and Medinah, adding that efforts were in the pipeline to enhance the welfare of pilgrims before, during and after the hajj.
In his remarks, Jimoh assured the board of support, especially in the area of sensitisation of pilgrims and members of the public.
He urged the board to always carry along the media in all its activities, adding that more slots should be allocated to Muslim journalists.