The Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Zikrullah Hassan, has announced September 9, as commencement date for the registration of intending pilgrims ahead of 2021 Hajj.
Mr Hassan, who disclosed this on Thursday while briefing journalists in Abuja, said the commission would open e-Hajj portal for ease of the registration.
He advised intending pilgrims to secure their deposits with the commission until 2021.
“We advise intending pilgrims who have made deposits but do not have a bank account and wish for a refund to hasten in opening one.
“If they are not ready or willing to hold a bank account, NAHCON advises them to secure their deposits with the commission until 2021 to enable them to move their deposits safely,” he said.
The chairman assured intending pilgrims that the much awaited Hajj savings scheme would be in place soon.
He said the contributory Hajj savings scheme is an idea whose time has come.
“I believe with this scheme in place, we will be able to make the cost of Hajj affordable for intending pilgrims in the future.”
He, however, urged intending pilgrims who wished to recover their Hajj deposits with the state pilgrims welfare boards or private tour operators to indicate interest, saying such funds would be refunded.
He said the commission had started the process of refund to various state pilgrim’s boards.
He, however said, “Those who may wish to leave or roll over their deposit for the 2021 hajj shall be given priority and the rights of first refusal in 2021 hajj”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Saudi Arabian authorities have cancelled the 2020 International Pilgrimage to Makkah and Madinah over coronavirus fears.
The commission has also commenced the process of refund of Hajj deposits to intending pilgrims and has started to re-strategise ahead of 2021 hajj operations.