BREAKING: Nigerian Pilgrims In Saudi Arabia Lament Poor Meals Despite Paying Over N8million For Hajj Exercise

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In a picture shared by a Facebook user, Babagana Digima, a small portion of pap and three beans cake were said to be the food they served the pilgrims on Tuesday morning.

Some Nigerians currently in Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj have lamented the quality and quantity of the food they are being served despite paying over N8million for the exercise. 

In a picture shared by a Facebook user, Babagana Digima, a small portion of pap and three beans cake were said to be the food they served the pilgrims on Tuesday morning.

Digima wrote, “After paying N8million for Hajj, see the breakfast that our pilgrims are being given! Nahcon Nigeria Fatima Mustapha. This what was given today 28th May 2024. In fact some pilgrims have already started begging to get money to buy food because even their remaining $300 that was promised to be paid to them in Saudi (out of $500) is not forthcoming from the authorities!”

Reacting to the post, a staff of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (Nahcon), Muhammad Ahmad said the Nigerian authorities had begun to probe the issue. 

The staff wrote: “NAHCON is right now there at the scene gathering information for proper investigation because NAHCON is fully and totally provides feeding and accommodation in Madinah but in Makkah NAHCON only supervises yet the Commission’s official will leave no stone unturned in revealing the truth of the matter and taking necessary action.”

Media had reported that the Kwara State Pilgrims Welfare Board said that no fewer than 100 intending pilgrims from the state would miss this year’s Hajj exercise due to the alarming fees. 

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The Nigerian government had also said it had spent the sum of N90billion to subsidise the cost of the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage for citizens. 

This had been revealed by Vice-President Kashim Shettima last month at the inauguration of the 2024 National Hajj operation, held at the Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport, Birnin Kebbi, the Kebbi State capital.

“You may recall that this year, we had a major challenge in announcing the final hajj fare for the 2024 Muslim pilgrimage due to fluctuation in foreign exchange rates,” Shettima was quoted as saying by the News Agency of Nigeria. 

He continued: “President Bola Tinubu also works round the clock to control the downward spiral of our local currency to bring relief to our pilgrims and other Nigerians.

“A move that eventually succeeded in lowering the fare. The President approved the release of N90 billion to subsidise the cost of pilgrimage for this year’s hajj.

“Due to this high regard, the government took time to carefully select men of integrity with administrative acumen and records of selfless dedication to manage the affairs of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria in the interest of Nigerian pilgrims.

“Government at the highest level monitors all arrangements meant for the well-being of our pilgrims both in Saudi Arabia and within the country before embarking on the journey.

“We are aware of the provision put in place for the safety, security and comfort of the Nigerian contingent to the 2024 hajj of our pilgrims.” 

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