Prospective Nigerian pilgrims who have performed the hajj or umrah in the last two years are to pay a compulsory levy of 2000 Saudi Riyals, an equivalent of N 163,000, chairman of the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON), Barr Abdullahi Mukhtar, has disclosed.
He stated that, the levy was exclusive of the substantive fare for the 2018 hajj exercise which is yet to be announced by the federal government.
Barr Mukhtar disclosed this in Sokoto on Saturday at a sensitisation campaign organised by the Commission for prospective pilgrims and officials of the Pilgrims Welfare Agencies from Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states on 2018 hajj.
Barr Muhkar was represented by the National Commissioner in charge of operations, Alhaji Abdullahi Modibbo Saleh.
Barr Mukhtar averred that, the campaign was organised to intimate the nation’s prospective pilgrims on the need to ensure the early completion of their hajj fares on or before the end of March, 2018.
He said that, the early completion of the payment of the hajj fares by the prospective pilgrims would enable the commission and the various pilgrims’ welfare agencies to make early and efficient arrangements. According to him, the event was also organised to intimate the prospective pilgrims on the issue of the introduction of biometric data capturing of all umrah and hajj pilgrims by the Saudi Arabian authorities.
Muhktar further said three centres had been opened in Kano, Lagos and Abuja for the data capturing, although efforts were on by the commission to ensure the increment of the centres.
In the same vein, the National Chairman added that, all prospective pilgrims who had performed the hajj exercise in the last two years must pay a levy of 2000 Saudi Riyals, equivalent of over N163,000.
Similarly, Alhaji Mukhtar intimated the Nigerian prospective pilgrims that, the Saudi Arabian authorities had introduced a five per cent value added tax (VAT) on all services, excluding food items and medical drugs.