Sudan Crisis: NAHCON orders additional payment
May 22, 2023 Fausiat Salako-Sanni
The the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has ordered intending pilgrims for the 2023 Hajj in the country, to pay additional $100 on flight ticket to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They will also receive $700 BTA, instead of $800 originally calculated.
It would be recalled that the commission initially announced a total final hajj fare ranging between N2.7 million and N2.9 million, a cost variant that is based on the proximity of each state to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Executive secretary of the Kano state Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mohammadu Abba Danbatta, who briefed journalists on Saturday, said the additional cost on flight ticket would be deducted from pilgrims’ Basic Traveling Allowance (BTA).
According to him, the additional cost on Hajj fare is sequel to the total shutdown of Sudan’s airspace due to the crisis in the country that has compelled air carriers from Nigeria to fly through alternative routes across six African countries to the final destination.
He further explained that the selected airlines have demanded additional $250 per pilgrim on flight ticket to augment expenses on the extra nautical miles and other aviation charges necessitated by the emergency situation.
Danbatta noted that by implication, pilgrims would now be given BTA of $700 instead of $800 originally calculated in the overall fare.
He further explained that evaluation of crisis in Sudan and its attendant cost implication as well as other fresh charges by Saudi Government amounted to over $700 has generated huge concern.
According to the executive secretary, the extra cost that would have led to huge burden on intending pilgrims, is being subsidized by the Federal government, NAHCON and states pilgrims’ welfare boards.
He said NAHCON and States Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards would equally bear specific percentages on the increased charge on aviation charges to reduce overload on pilgrims.
”After series of meetings and consultation, the burden of increase in the Hajj fare has been drastically reduced to the barest minimum.
Already, the Federal government is taking the large chunk of the burden while NAHCON and states would take share just like the intending pilgrims would not be left out.
”By calculation, a pilgrim is expected to pay $117.
But by the intervention, the cost is reduced. Pilgrim will now pay $100 while NAHCON and States board will share $17. And the addition would be deducted from pilgrim’s BTA. Now, instead of $800 pilgrims would be given $700″. Danbatta noted.
On the preparation of Kano airlift, Danbatta stressed that the first batch of 550 passengers would depart Nigeria for Saudi Arabia on 25th May, 2023, few hours after the inaugural flight. He said second and third batches would depart on 27th and 29th Max Air.
SOURCE: Platforms Africa