On Hajj fare hike

Intending Nigerian pilgrims to Mecca this year are an unexpected increase in Hajj fare. This comes after they had already made full payment based on the initial announced cost.

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) had set Hajj fare at N4.5 million. However, the introduction of the new forex policy by the current administration, allowing the naira to float freely, resulted in currency depreciation. This, coupled with global financial difficulties, forced NAHCON to adjust the fare.

Registered pilgrims who had already paid N4.5 million will now pay an additional N1.9 million. New entrants will pay higher fare, N8.2 million to N8.4 million, depending on their departure zone. This unexpected financial burden could force many to abandon their pilgrimage plans.

Despite the challenges, NAHCON deserves credit for negotiating significant cost reductions for services in Saudi Arabia. Pilgrims will benefit from lower accommodation and transportation costs compared to the previous year. These reductions helped mitigate the overall cost increase.

While NAHCON’s cost-cutting measures are commendable, the financial burden on Nigerian pilgrims remains substantial. There is a need for the federal government to offer concessionary forex rates to ease the pressure on aspiring pilgrims. This aligns with the established tradition of past administrations supporting Hajj pilgrims.

The Hajj fare increase presents a significant hurdle for Nigerian pilgrims this year. However, it also serves as an opportunity for NAHCON and stakeholders to implement long-term planning and savings strategies. By working together, they can help aspiring pilgrims fulfil their spiritual journey with greater financial certainty. 

Aliyu Mohammed Haidar,

18, Gwarimpa Cadasral Zone, 


[email protected]