The Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board has set February 12 deadline for intending pilgrims to settle outstanding fares for the 2024 Hajj.
The Director, Mr Abubakar Evuti, announced the dateline at a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday.
Evuti said that all intending pilgrims were expected to pay N4.69 million for the exercise.
He explained that those that made an initial deposit of N4.5 million as earlier directed by the board, would now need to pay a balance of 199,000 to complete the payment.
He encouraged those interested to perform the 2024 Hajj but could not make any payment to use the five-day window to make payments.
He disclosed that so far, about 2,500 intending pilgrims have made payments, out of the 4,368 seats allocated to the FCT by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria.
According to him, the airlifting of intending pilgrims will commence on May 19, while orientation would end in April.
“This season we have a challenge of timeline because the registration has always been open till day of takeoff.
“But the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has come up with a new timeline which indicates that all registrations, collection of data and payment by pilgrims must close at least 45 days before Arafat.
“In view of this, the Hajj Commission had issued a directive that all registrations, collection of data and fares for the 2024 Hajj should be closed by Feb. 12.
“By March 1, issuance of visas will begin and end by April 29, and the first batch of pilgrims from Nigeria to the holy land will take off between May 9 and May 11.
“We will adhere to these timelines strictly, considering the way and manner Saudi Arabia adheres to all the rules and regulations.”
The director warned that with the new regulations, there would be no room for late registration.
He announced that the board had secured good accommodation in the city of Tashir with the support of the FCT Minister, Mr Nyesom Wike, and Minister of State, Dr Mariya Mahmoud.
He also urged all intending pilgrims to disclose their health status, as people with health challenges were not allowed to participate in the spiritual exercise, including pregnant women.