The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has revealed that the date for the commencement of 2021’s Hajj registration has been scheduled to September 9, 2020.
NAHCON chairman, Alhaji Zikirullah Kunle Hassan, stated this at a press conference at Hajj House, Thursday, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, where he held that the e-Hajj portal for pilgrims’ registration for 2021 Hajj will be opened immediately for registration to commence. Hassan further noted that guidelines will be issued in due course.
The NAHCON chairman stated further that for the aborted 2020 Hajj, pilgrims intending to recover deposits from the State Pilgrims Welfare Boards or the Private Tour Operators would be refunded in full.
He however added that those who may wish to leave or rollover their deposit for the 2021 Hajj shall be accorded the highest priority and “Rights of first refusal in 2021 Hajj.”
Hassan said: “The Commission has started the process of refund to the various State Pilgrims Welfare Boards for onwards disbursement to the pilgrims. We believe that the various boards would by now have informed the public on the modalities for the refund of their deposit. On this note, I want to commend some of the SPWBs who have commenced the payment of refunds to their pilgrims.
“Likewise, those who decide to keep their 2020 deposit with the relevant agencies will have to sign a written agreement indicating their willingness to roll over their deposit against 2021 Hajj.”
The NAHCON Chairman further stated that the rollover fund would be deposited in the Hajj Savings Scheme, which will soon take off.
“Considering that Hajj and Umrah did not take place, NAHCON management has decided to refund Licensed Tour Operators their license fees and caution deposits”, he added.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia says it will allow only about 1,000 pilgrims residing within the kingdom to perform the Hajj this year, one day after it announced the annual pilgrimage would be scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Yearly, Saudi Arabia receives some 2.5 million pilgrims from around the world to the cities of Mecca and Medina for the week-long ritual scheduled to begin in late July.
This year, no overseas visitors would be allowed due to the Coronavirus, as Saudi Arabia announced recently that it would hold a “very limited” Hajj this year, as the country is still battling with the pandemic.
The Saudi Ministry of Hajj said the decision to curtail the pilgrimage was aimed at preserving global public health because of the risks associated with large gatherings. This year’s event is expected to start on July 28.