In continuation of its preparations for this year’s holy pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, Oyo State Pilgrim Welfare Board (Muslim Wing) has commenced the distribution of traveling materials to intending pilgrims from the state.
The materials distributed included traveling bags and clothes to be worn by the pilgrims as uniform and means of identification during the Hajj exercise.
Presiding over the distribution of materials on Tuesday at the State Hajj Camp in Olodo Ibadan, the Chairman of the State Muslim Pilgrim Welfare Board Professor Sayed Malik disclosed that there would be a minor change in traveling arrangements.
“The current civil war in Sudan has affected our plan. The armed conflict in Sudan would not allow aircrafts carrying pilgrims to Saudi Arabia from Nigeria and other nations to pass through the country’s airspace. Consequently, the airliners are going to take a longer route and thus spend longer time in arriving at their destination”, Professor Malik explained.
He explained further, “The implications of this is that the transportation to the holy lands will cost more as the airlines are going to make additional charges to take care of extra aviation fuel to be consumed in the longer trip.
However, NAHCON decided not to collect additional charges from the intending pilgrims but resorted to adjust their Basic Traveling Allowances (BTA). Therefore, NAHCON has directed that each intending pilgrim should be given $700 instead of the usual $800 as their BTA”.
The Board Chairman assured the intending pilgrims that their safety throughout the period of the holy pilgrimage is guaranteed.
The first batch of Oyo State intending pilgrims are expected to take off from the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos on Tuesday, May 30, 2023.
OYO NEWS understands that about 1,500 Muslims from Oyo State are expected to take part in this year’s hajj exercise.