By AbdulFatai Beki
Ilorin – The Kwara State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board on Thursday announced June 15 as deadline for full payment of Hajj fares by all intending pilgrims travelling with the board for the 2019 Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
The News Agency of Nigeria NAN recalls that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria had approved N1,528,559.10 as hajj fare for intending pilgrims from Kwara.
Alhaji Mohammed Tunde-Jimoh, the Executive Secretary of the Board announced the June 15 deadline in an interview with NAN on Thursday in llorin.
According to the executive secretary, the completion of payment by June 15 has become imperative to meet with the deadline for issuance of visas to the pilgrims by the Saudi authority.
Tunde-Jimoh therefore directed all intending pilgrims who have made deposits to pay up the balance between now and June 15, to enable the board process their travelling documents within the period earmarked by the Saudi government.
The official disclosed that all the prospective pilgrims travelling with the board would receive a flat rate of 800 dollars each as Basic Travelling Allowance.
He attributed the high cost of 2019 Hajj when compared with previous years to high cost of accommodation in Medinah, improved transport services and other logistics put in place for the convenience of Nigerian pilgrims.
He said Muslims in the state who are willing to travel for the pilgrimage could still make the payment on or before the June 15 deadline.
The executive Secretary announced that pregnant women have been barred from travelling for the Hajj, adding that the board would soon commence medical screening and inoculation during which those found medically and physically unfit would be eased out.
He also said that all aged intending pilgrims must be accompanied by a stronger person who will assist them to carry out the Hajj rites successfully.
According to him, the board have perfected arrangements for more enlightenment programmes, where stakeholders on Hajj will enlighten the intending pilgrims on what was expected of them while in Saudi Arabia.
A total of 2,221 pilgrims are expected to perform the 2019 Hajj from Kwara with the board