The federal government has approved the extension of the deadline for the 2024 hajj registration by intending pilgrims.
Assistant Director, Public Affairs, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Mrs Fatima Usara, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
She said the extension was in response to the heartfelt concerns raised by religious clerics, State Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards, Agencies, Commissions, Governors and other stakeholders regarding closure of 2024 Hajj registration.
“The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) is pleased to announce Federal Government’s approval for an extension of the deadline.
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“The new date is set for Jan. 31, providing an additional opportunity for individuals to participate in this sacred pilgrimage.
“The overwhelming request for extension from various religious communities underscores the significance of ensuring accessibility to a broader spectrum of the faithful eager to embark on the spiritual journey of Hajj.”
Usara said NAHCON was confident that before expiration of the new deadline, with the support of its sister agencies, the commission would have determined the total cost of 2024 hajj.
“The extension therefore provides a window for new registrant to do so and by the end of January; those who need to balance up payment would be able to do so as well.
“NAHCON seizes this chance to remind intending pilgrims and other stakeholders that the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has slated Feb. 25 as end date for signing all contracts, signaling the end of payments into IBAN accounts.
“With this extension, NAHCON has barely a month to finalise payment of all Hajj deposits into its IBAN account for the 2024 Hajj,” Usara said.
She stated that the extension, even though overstretched NAHCON’s preparatory timeline, reflected the commission’s chairman, Malam Jalal Arabi’s commitment to accommodating the concerns of stakeholders.
“Arabi expressed gratitude to religious leaders, state boards, and governors for their advocacy on behalf of the pilgrims.
“He described this collaborative effort as a testament to the shared commitment to facilitating a meaningful and inclusive Hajj experience for all.
“He prayed all Hajj handlers would utilise this opportunity well for success of 2024 Hajj operations,” she added.