News Agency of Nigeria

The Oyo State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board has fixed April 30 as deadline for payment of the 2018 hajj fare for all intending pilgrims in the state.

The Chairman of the board, Taofeek Akewugbagold, said this on Sunday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.

Mr. Akewugbagold said the state collected N1.1 million from intending pilgrims pending the final fare to be announced by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria.

The Oyo State board chairman said all registration relating to 2018 hajj must be completed by May 31 unless Saudi Arabia extends the date.

The chairman said the centres for orientation, material distribution and inoculation for intending pilgrims had been decentralized.

“Orientation, distribution of hajj materials and inoculation now takes place in Saki, Igboho, Ogbomoso, Kishi, this is to make the centres closer to the pilgrims and reduce travel stress,’’ Akewugbagold said.

He advised pilgrims to fear Allah in their deeds as they gather money for the journey.

Mr. Akewugbagold said adequate security had been put in place with relevant security agencies to ensure that no pilgrim carry any contraband to Saudi Arabia.

“The turnout for this year’s hajj in the state is very impressive because of the past record of the board. Close to 500 pilgrims have so far paid.

“We have special packages for the aged and we are proud that for the past four years, Oyo State has been trying to maintain that we get accommodation closest to the Haram.

“A lot of sacrifice was made to ensure that we secure accommodation for the state pilgrims within the vicinity of Haram,’’ Mr. Akewugbagold said.

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