By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
All the 3,546 intending Muslim pilgrims from Niger State for this year’s holy pilgrimage to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia are to undergo biometric data capturing exercse in the state capital, Minna.
The National Hajj Commission had, following the approval by the Saudi Arabian authorities to graciously increase the screening centres in Nigeria from the initial three to additional seven to bring the total number of screening centres in the country to ten, assigned one of the seven screening centres to Niger state.
The Niger state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board on Friday announced that it had commenced the screening exercise for all Muslim intending pilgrims. The exercise began with some government officials performing this year’s pilgrimage and board members of the state Muslim pilgrims welfare board.
Three hundred persons are to be screened by the board on daily basis according to the Executive Secretary of the state’s Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Shehu Barwa Beji.
He assured that all the intending pilgrims from the state for this year’s hajj exercise would be captured in good time.
He disclosed that officials involved in the exercise would work round the clock including at weekends to ensure that the exercise is accomplished well ahead of the dateline set by the Saudi Arabian authorities.
He disclosed that the National Hajj Commission had allocated 3,546 seats to Niger state for this year’s hajj exercise. Out of this number, the board had so far registered over two thousand persons for this year’s pilgrimage.
Shehu Barwa Beji implored all Muslims wishing to undertake this year’s pilgrimage to pay the N1,465.500 hajj fares approved by the National Hajj Commission for this year’s hajj exercise.
The Executive Secretary appealed to all those who are due for the screening exercise to await directives from the state’s Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board before coming to Minna for the exercise.