By Abdullahi Olesin, Ilorin
The Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria (MMWG), yesterday, called for a downward review of this year’s Hajj fair.
The group described as outrageous the #1.5 million fixed as the minimum fare payable by Nigerian intending pilgrims.
The group in a statement by its national coordinator, Alh Ibrahim Abdullahi, noted in the past five years, #1.5 million could pay the fare of five pilgrims.
“By any comparative analysis cost of Hajj is considerably high this year and calls for immediate review. How can we ask a pilgrim to pay over N1.5M as lowest Hajj fares? This amount of money could sponsor four pilgrims to Hajj about 5 years ago.
“The most critical situation is CBN refusal to grant exception for Hajj that concessional rate is used for exchange of dollar as it is done annually. It is therefore unreasonable for Hajj Fares be paid for with the existing exchange rate. It is a great disservice to Muslims who constitute overwhelming majority in Nigeria. Hajj, as a religious duty deserves the concession since we do not ask for same when we travel for Umrah (Lesser Hajj),” it noted.
The MMWG, however, praised the National Assembly for wading into the matter and called on the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to approve without delay “concessional rate for Hajj this year to minimize the hardship the Muslims are facing now.”