Intending pilgrims above 65 years not allowed into Saudi Arabia – Board

Hajj: Nigeria, others get 24-hour landing extension

The Katsina Pilgrims Board on Wednesday reminded intending pilgrims above the age of 65 that they would not be allowed into Saudi Arabia.

This is contained in a statement by the board’s Public Relations Officer, Badaru Bello-Karofi in Katsina.

The board made this known during orientation for intending pilgrims and Islamic scholars in the state ahead of the 2022 Hajj operations.

The exercise, organised in Kankia and Dutsinma Zonal Centres, was aimed at enlightening the intending pilgrims on how to purify themselves ahead of the Hajj.

”Saudi Arabia has indicated that people above 65 years must not be allowed to perform Hajj this year and also reminded all intending pilgrims that full COVID-19 vaccination is compulsory.

“By full vaccination, I mean the three doses and of course PCR is mandatory,” the Chairman said.

”Saudi Arabia has indicated that anybody above 65 years must not be allowed to perform Hajj.

”All intending pilgrims must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. By full vaccination I mean the three doses and of course PCR is mandatory,” he said.

Earlier, the Executive Director of the board, Alhaji Suleiman Nuhu-Kuki commended the smooth conduct of the ongoing exercise in Kankia and Dutsinma Zonal Centres of the state.

Nuhu-Kuki stressed the need for them to purify themselves ahead of the holy pilgrimage.

He said the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has fixed N2.5 million as deposit from each intending pilgrim.

He said about 2,146 seats have been allocated to the state for this year’s Hajj operation.

Nuhu-Kuki said that the increase on Hajj fare followed the hike in airfare and exchange rates of dollars.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that on April 10, Saudi Arabia set an age limit of 65 for those travelling to the holy city of Mecca this year.

NAN reports that Nigeria has been allocated 43,008 hajj slots for 2022 with the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory getting 33,976 seats and private tour operators sharing 9,032 seats.

Kaduna State got the highest allocation of 2,491 seats while Abia got six with zero allocation to Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa.

The 2022 seat allocation was based on the performance of each state in the 2019 Hajj airlift.