The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), yesterday attributed the hike in Hajj fare to recession and devaluation of naira against major currencies.
Alhaji Ibrahim Yusuf, the NAHCON Commissioner for Policy, Personnel Management and Finance, made the assertion in Ilorin, Kwara State, at a sensitisation for stakeholders.
He said intending pilgrims would have paid about N700,000, if the value of naira had not fallen at the international market.
He said there was remarkable reduction in the transport, accommodation and feeding in Saudi Arabia when compared with 2016 Hajj.
The NAHCON commissioner said the economic situation in the country was responsible for the hike in Hajj fare.
“The commission has tried its best to reduce the fare, but we have no control over the dollar rate at the forex market,” Yusuf said.
According to him, the 2017 Hajj fare would have gone above N2 million,
but for the efforts of the commission in negotiating for lower rates directly for accommodation in Makkah and Madinah.
Alhaji Mohamned Tunde-Jimoh, the Executive Secretary, Kwara Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, said the board put in place necessary arrangement for the comfort of all intending pilgrims.
He advised intending pilgrims from the state not to carry Kolanut and other prohibited items to the Holy Land.
Each of the intending pilgrims from the state paid about N1.5 million as Hajj fare for 2017.