The Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board has commenced payment of Basic Travelling Allowance (BTA) to intending pilgrims for the 2018 Hajj.
The state Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef, announced this on Friday in Lagos at a meeting with 19 appointed coordinators to manage pilgrim affairs in the state.
AbdulLateef, who doubles as the “Amir-ul-Hajj” for Lagos state, said that pilgrims would be given the opportunity to exchange a minimum of N244,000 for 800 dollars within a two week window.
“We urge the pilgrims to proceed to the pilgrim board’s office at the old secretariat for their BTA without further delay.
“Each pilgrim is entitled to exchange a minimum of 800 dollars for N244,000 at the official rate of N305.00 to a dollar as directed by the Federal Government,” he said.
He advised the intending pilgrims to take advantage of the concessionary exchange rate and to present their receipt of payment and international passport to get their BTA.
“It is advisable that they come forward before the window closes because the dollar rate is higher in the black markets and banks.
“Only fully paid pilgrims are entitled to the official rate and must come with their receipts of payment and international passports,” he said.
He also advised Muslims to use the fasting period to seek Allah’s forgiveness and mercy for themselves and other faithful worldwide.
“You should invest your resources to propagate good deeds and help your Muslim brothers and sisters as much as you can as this is more rewarding in this blessed month of Ramadan,” he said.
The Executive Secretary of the board, Mr Muftau Okoya, emphasised the directive of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) that all intending pilgrims must possess a National Identity Card.
He urged the intending pilgrims to register for the identity cards, while expressing the determination of the state government to ensure a successful Hajj.