Executive Chairman, Kogi state Hajj Commission, Sheik Lukman Abdullah said the commission has intensified efforts to ensure a hitch-free 2018 hajj operation.
Abdullah disclosed this when he led members of the commission on a courtesy visit to the state chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) secretariat in Lokoja, yesterday, calling on critical stakeholders in the state to collaborate with the commission for effective 2018 hajj operation.
He disclosed that payment for this year’s hajj fares which has since commenced, was expected to be closed by March 31, adding that the sum of N1.540 million should be deposited pending when the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) would take final decision on the fare.
The executive chairman further disclosed that a befitting accommodation has been secured by the state Hajj commission in Makkah and Madinah for the comfort of the pilgrims, saying the state governor, Yahaya Bello, has directed that the welfare of the pilgrims must be accorded top priority.
He maintained that items expected from the intending pilgrims while coming for the registration include medical report certificate, electronic passport and national ID card number, stressing that the final deadline for the payment of the fares might not be extended.
While disclosing that 717 seats have been allocated to the state for the 2018 hajj as against 838 last year, Sheikh Luqman pointed out that discussions were on-going for the slots of the state to be increased before the commencement of the operation.
Responding, the state Chairman of NUJ, Alhaji Adeiza Momoh Jimoh, assured that practising journalists in the state would continue to assist the commission in the area of enlightenment, to enable them carry out their duties effectively.