The Chairman /Chief Executive Officer of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan has assured of the commission”s support to Licensed Travel Tour Companies to mitigate their challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
   The Chairman made the promise when the executive members of the Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria (AHUON), paid him a courtesy visit at Hajj House, Abuja on Wednesday.
    He said that the Commission was not oblivious of the multi – prong economic effect brought on the hospitality industry and expressed his readiness to assist and support the association towards reducing their losses especially against the backdrop of the cancelation of Umrah pilgrimage by the Saudi Government and the uncertainty over the 2020 Hajj.
    The Chairman therefore pleaded with the Association to exercise patience with the commission in fashioning out the right direction that would be just and equitable.
      Alh Zikrullah thanked the Association for the support, trust and confidence reposed in the commission and promised to look into their complaints and requests with a view to addressing them promptly and reiterated the commission”s commitment to partnering with the Association to uplifting Hajj and Umrah service in Nigeria.
   Earlier in his address, the acting President of AHUON, Alhaji Saliu Abdullahi Butu said the essence of the visit was to express their support for the commission and to solicit for assistance in the area of boosting their revenue profile in the face of Covid-19 global pandemic.
    According to him, many of its members were on the verge of bankruptcy as some payments made to Service service providers have not been refunded. He noted that only the Visa fee and Insurance charges had been refunded by the Saudi Government while other payments like Air tickets, Hotel Service, Transportation and other handling charges were still being awaited from the service providers.
     Alhaji Butu further call on the commission to assist its members by releasing the ₦5million (Five Million Naira) annual refundable fee paid by each company and also intervene in securing the Federal Government financial palliative for them through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as well as defer the validity of 2020 Umrah license till 2021 so as to cushion the effect of their financial situation.
    Other demands made by association included the release of list of licensed and accredited Tour companies as well as Hajj allocation respectively.
Assistant Director,
Information and Publication