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March 3, 2024

2023 Hajj: FCT begins visa processing for intending pilgrims

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By Salisu Sani-Idris

The FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards says it has commenced the process of securing visa
for 2023 intending Muslim pilgrims from the territory.

The Director of the board, Malam Abubakar Evuti, made this known at a news conference on activities of the organisation
and preparations for this year’s hajj on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said “so far, a total of 3,651 intending Muslim pilgrims have completed payment of hajj fare and the board has since
continued with the process of securing their visa.

“And as soon as the portal is open, we shall commence the application and printing of their visa for the holy journey.”

He disclosed that the board had concluded arrangements for screening of intending pilgrims to ascertain their health status
and capability of performing the Hajj.

According to him, the screening will start on Friday, May 5, 2023 with intending pilgrims from Bwari Area Council and
Headquarters, followed by those from Abaji, Kwali and Gwagwalada Area Councils on Saturday, May 6.

He added that those who registered through Kuje and Abuja Municipal Area councils, as well as those
under the Hajj Savings Scheme would be screened on Sunday, May 7, 2023 respectively.

He called on other intending Muslim pilgrims who had yet to complete their payments to do so on or before Monday, May 8.

He said that the board had already secured befitting accommodations for intending pilgrims around Hafair area in Makkah
that are of short distances to the holy Masjid (Masjid Al Haram).

This, according to him, is within the range approved by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).

Evuti stated that arrangements with caterers and other service providers in Saudi Arabia have been signed and sealed.

He revealed that one of the innovations introduced by the board for this year’s hajj was to allow intending pilgrims to choose the flight they intend to travel with.

This, according to him, will curtail the challenge of No-Show experienced by the board in 2022 during the transportation to Saudi Arabia.

He warned that any pilgrim who refused to show up for his or her flight would be sanctioned by the board and may even result to forfeiting the trip this year.

“I would like to use this medium to reaffirm the readiness of the board and indeed the FCT Administration in ensuring that intending pilgrims from the territory
get the best services ever in Hajj exercises in line with the best global practice.

“Necessary measures have been put in place to record more successes in the operation even though each hajj exercise come with its peculiarities.”

He commended the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, the Minister of State for FCT, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, the Permanent Secretary of FCTA,
Mr Olusade Adesola and Director, Human Resources, FCTA, Malam Muhammad Bashir, for their support to the board.

He also expressed appreciation to the management and staff of the board who have been putting in their best to ensure the success of hajj operations in accordance to the mandate of organising hitch-free holy trip over the years. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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