The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has allotted 43,000 seats to Nigeria for the 2022 Hajj.
Sources confirmed this on Wednesday, saying the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) is working on an official statement.
This aligns with the projection of Daily Trust in its lead story on Wednesday that Nigeria expects only half of the usual 95,000 slots.
About 150,000 intending pilgrims may be jostling for the seats being backlog for 2020 and 2021 and a fraction of the 2019 intending pilgrims that couldn’t perform the exercise.
There was no hajj in 2020 and 2021 following the COVID-19 pandemic, which ravaged the world with several countries locking down to contain the spread of the virus.
Therefore, some of the thousands of intending pilgrims who paid for the spiritual journey in 2020 and 2021 said they hoped to perform the hajj exercise this year in addition to those hoping to pay also.
Respite came the way of many Muslims, especially intending pilgrims around the world when the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced about 10 days ago that one million pilgrims would perform the 2022 Hajj, out of which 85 per cent would be allocated to external pilgrims while the remaining percentage would be for Saudi residents.
The one million is 50 per cent less than the usual figure of two million pilgrims that performed the exercise pre-COVID – 19.