Three million, three hundred and seventy seven pilgrims from across the world performed the 2017 pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
Out of this number, eighty five thousand came from Nigeria.
The commissioner in charge of Policy, Personnel Management and Finance, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Yusuff Adebayo Ibrahim, who stood in for the Chairman, Barr Muktair Abdullah, disclosed this in Mina, Saudi Arabia, while addressing pilgrims at their various camps.
Ibrahim commended the Saudi Arabian authorities for accommodating such a huge number of pilgrims at the same time without crisis or calamity.
He described the 2017 hajj exercise as successful and assured that the commission would put in more efforts to improve on the 2018 and subsequent exercises.
The commission announced that from next year, there will be a benchmark for all intending pilgrims from the country to give room for early and adequate planning, adding that states should ensure that they give 95 per cent allocation to first timers, while second timers would henceforth be charged extra cost.
Adebayo cautioned pilgrims against purchasing unnecessary items they could easily afford in Nigeria as the various airlines have given each pilgrim 35 kilograms and eight kilograms as hand luggage.
At the Kwara camp, the spokesman of the pilgrims, Alhaji Ibrahim Oniye, who is also the Makama of Ilorin, appealed to the federal government to increase the Basic Travelling Allowance ( BTA) given to each pilgrim as against the $800 dollars which he claimed is insufficient.
Oniye praised the state Amir hajj, Prof. Jamiu Sulaimon and the state Executive Secretary of the board, Alhaji Tunde Jimoh for organising a successful pilgrimage, particularly in terms of accommodation, feeding and timely departure from the country.
In his remarks at the Oyo state camp, a prominent Nigerian Islamic scholar, Sheik Muyideen Ajani Bello, observed special prayers for the unity of the country and for improved health of President Muhammad Buhari.
One of the pilgrims, Alhaji Najim Usman Yasin, who is the National President of Offa Descendant Union (ODU) and President, National Union of Road Transport Workers(NURTW), commended NAHCON for organising an improved pilgrimage this year compared to last year and called for perfection in subsequent hajj operations.
Most pilgrimage according to reports are now eager to go back home after all hajj rites have been concluded.