Nigerian diplomats say the agreement between National Hajj Commission of Nigeria and the Saudi authorities allows visas to be issued for Nigerian women going to Mecca as long as they are accompanied by their local Haj committee officials.
The Nigerian envoy said he made a formal protest to the foreign affairs office in Riyadh Wednesday.
"They are stopping women particularly between the ages of 25 and 35 without a male relative. Those over 45 are not a concern to the Saudi authorities," he said.
An estimated over two million Muslims are due to converge on Mecca for this year's Haj, set to culminate over a four-day period somewhere between Oct 24 and 29, depending on lunar observations.