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April 19, 2024

Again, CSO urges Nigerian authorities to begin registration of Hajj 2024 intending pilgrims immediately

Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) that monitors and reports on Hajj and Umrah activities have called on the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and States Muslim Pilgrims Boards in Nigeria to immediately begin the registration of intending Pilgrims for Hajj 2024.

IHR in a statement Monday in Abuja, signed by its National Coordinator, Ibrahim Mohammed said the call became necessary due to the change in the Calendar of Hajj activities by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah following the conclusion of Hajj 2023.

According to the calendar, the authorities in the Kingdom expect all Hajj participating countries to conclude all arrangements for Hajj 2024 including visas by March next year.

The implications of this is that all Hajj countries will have to register pilgrims, collect payments and sign agreements with service providers before that date.

The reality of 2024 Hajj preparations do not give room for delay, especially in Nigeria where the system operates a one-year Hajj plan – an extremely compacted activity that has caused so much confusion in the quest to create an enduring standard Hajj operating environment in Nigeria.

“The era of countries taking their time to conclude all plans often till the last minute is over.

“Competent authorities, especially NAHCON), should immediately order states to commence the registration of pilgrims and give suitable deadlines working with the country’s 95,000 slots

“It is our believe that failure to do this will end up causing unnecessary confusion and create panic in the system ahead of 2024 hajj,” IHR said

The CSO also said many top Hajj participating countries such as Pakistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Indonesia and Bangladesh have kick-started registering pilgrims.

“The latest change of calendar is good for all countries because they will have at least three months to conclude all logistic arrangements because the exact number of pilgrims for the annual pilgrimage is known”

“NAHCON, States and Private Tour Operators now have an opportunity to finalize accommodation and flight arrangements ahead of time. Even bed and tent slots can be allocated ahead of arrival to Saudi Arabia, thereby, solving the problem encountered this year,” the CSO added.

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Mustapha Salisu

Mustapha Salisu is a graduate of BSc. Information and Media Studies from Bayero University Kano, with experience in Communication Skills as well as Public Relations.

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