As the 2023 Hajj season approaches its business end, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has successfully airlifted a total number of 59,838 pilgrims to the Holy Land.
The pilgrims were conveyed to the Kingdom in a total number of 142 flights using Max Air, Flynas, Azman, Aero Contractors, and Air Peace.
PRNIGERIA reports that out of the 30 states (plus FCT) that have sent pilgrims to the Holy Land so far, Sokoto state leads with 5,155 worshippers followed by Katsina with 4,610; Kano with 4,288; FCT with 3,767; Lagos with 3,484; Kaduna with 3,456 and Zamfara with 3,095 indigenes.
This is followed by Kwara with 2,938 pilgrims; Bauchi with 2,697; Kebbi with 2,654; Adamawa with 2585; Niger with 2,225; Gombe with 2,215 and Nasarawa with 2,088 worshippers.
Osun state has also contributed 1,833 pilgrims so far followed by Yobe with 1,811; Jigawa with 1,577; Oyo with 1,436; Plateau with 1,398; Ogun with 1,228; Borno with 1143 and Taraba with 1170.
Kogi state also already has 718 pilgrims in the Holy Land followed by Ondo with 479; Edo with 427; Ekiti with 295; Benue with 240; Cross River and Delta with 66 each; and Bayelsa with 60.
The Armed Forces which are also treated as a state in the NAHCON chart have 547 pilgrims in the Holy Land so far.
Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo are Rivers are yet to send any pilgrim to the Holy Land at the time of filing this report on Sunday 15:44 hrs Saudi Arabian time (13:44 hrs Nigerian time).
PRNIGERIA can also report that out of the 59,838 Nigerian pilgrims in the Kingdom at the moment, 35,247 are males while 24,591 are females. 49,615 pilgrims landed in Madinah and 10,223 landed in Jeddah. 48,906 have been successfully transported by NAHCON from both Jeddah and Madinah to Makkah while 10,932 are still in Madinah.
For the airlines contracted to airlift pilgrims, Flynas leads having carried 23,528 pilgrims in 59 flights which is 39 percent of the entire operation so far. Max Air follows having carried 17,200 pilgrims in 32 flights which represents 29 percent of the operation. Aero Contractors follows with 9,150 pilgrims in 20 flights, representing 15 percent of the entire figure so far. Air Peace is next with 5,616 pilgrims in 20 flights which is 10 percent of the operation. Azman Air follows with 4,344 pilgrims in 11 flights representing seven percent.
95,000 Nigerian pilgrims are expected to participate in this year’s Hajj exercise out of which NAHCON is responsible for the airlift of 75,000.
NAHCON boss, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, had told journalists after the inaugural flight ceremony three weeks ago that all Nigerian pilgrims would be airlifted within 25 days from 15 take-off points across the country.
The 25-day target is meant to meet up with the deadline set for the closure of the Saudi Arabia airspace.
The King Fahd International Airport, Jeddah, and the Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport, Madinah, are expected to be shut on Thursday, 22nd of June, 2023.