From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The Niger State Pilgrims Welfare Board has commenced biometric data capturing of the 2018 intending pilgrims in the state capital, taking place at Off Old Airport road, Gidan Almajiri, 123 quarters.
The exercise began with the board members and officials which included APWOS with the challenge being the use of a single machine for the exercise, hence the expected delay in the program.
The Board Executive Secretary, Shehu Barwa Beji, in an interview yesterday however called on all intending pilgrims in the state to be law abiding and to stay in their various local government areas until they are called for the biometric exercise.
Beji urged them not to panic as plans were underway to ensure that every intending Pilgrim will be captured within the period before the commencement of airlifting from the state, just as congestion and inconveniences will be avoided by calling and capturing Pilgrims on local government bases.
He noted that it has a possible projection of a total of 300 Pilgrims to be captured daily and will likely operate within the weekends to meet up with time.
Meanwhile, the Niger State Pilgrims Welfare Board has said that over 2,000 intending Pilgrims has so far paid for 3,546 allocated to it by the National Haji Commission of Nigeria (NACON) for 2018 pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, the interested intending Pilgrims were urged to take advantage of this period to effect their payments of N1,465,500 with a subsidy of N16,550 for each of the Pilgrims by the Niger state government for their bag components.