The Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria (AHUON) has raised concerns about the possibility of significantly increased Hajj fares in 2024. Intending pilgrims may need to pay as much as N6 million, a substantial increase from the N3 million paid during the 2023 pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
Alhaji Yahya Suleiman Nasidi, the National President of AHUON, voiced his apprehension during the 2024 Hajj sensitization seminar held in Kano, with the theme “Hajj 2024: New Challenges, Boundless Opportunity.”
Nasidi cited the rising exchange rate of the US dollar as the primary reason for the anticipated fare hike. He appealed to the Federal Government and the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) for assistance in depositing their 2024 Hajj funds in Saudi Arabia.
According to Nasidi, “We have not received any forex allocation from the government, but we continue to conduct our business using the forex from the markets. We are concerned that this will be the case if the government does not intervene. Another issue is the cost of Hajj this year.
Last year, we operated at N3 million; now it could go up to N6 million. That’s why we are urging those who intend to perform Hajj this year to make an effort to pay their Hajj fare as early as possible. Without timely payment, obtaining a visa and travel will be impossible, so the problems are multifaceted, related to the forex issue. This is a problem that, even if we obtain forex from abroad, we still need to transfer it as an offshore payment,” Nasidi explained.