The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has allocated 3,132 seats to Bauchi State for the 2023 Islamic pilgrimage exercise in Saudi Arabia.
The was contained in a statement signed by the Assistant Director of Information and Publications of the commission, Mousa Ubandawaki. The commission’s spokesperson noted that the seats were distributed across the 36 States including FCT and the Nigerian Armed Forces.
Ubandawaki explained that Kaduna State topped the list with 5,982 seats and Kano State garnered 5,902 seats for the holy annual exercise.
In contrast, Imo and Bayelsa states made the list of the states with the lowest seats having allocated 30 and 35 seats respectively.
The spokesman said the number of seats allocated to Kogi State would be released after the conclusion of the review of its activities, while the allocation of Akwa Ibom State was suspended due to the non-renewal of its operating licence.
“Kogi State will be released after the conclusion of the ongoing review of its activities while the allocation of Akwa Ibom state was suspended due to non-renewal of its operating licence,” he stated.
Ubandawaki added that all the states are expected to remit payment of 50% of the 2022 seat allocation to the commission before February 10 and inability to comply with the deadline will lead to a reduction in allocation to such state.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had in December last year, announced that it restored the 95,000 Hajj slots to Nigeria for 2023 Hajj, the figure NAHCON maintained years before the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.
The exercise was crippled in 2020 and 2021 leaving millions of prospective pilgrims across countries unable to perform the religious rite observed in every 12th Islamic month.
The Hajj activities resumed in 2022 when 43,000 seats were allocated to Nigeria and thousands of intending Nigerian pilgrims missed the hajj exercise.