By Fatima Sanda Usara

 

The Federal Ministry of Education has approved establishment and take-off of the Hajj Institute of Nigeria (HIN). This was formally disclosed during the “First Board and Stakeholders’ Strategic Review and Planning Meeting on Tuesday, 22 March, 2022 in the Hajj House boardroom. Present at the one-day retreat were the National Hajj Commission’s Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan and his three commissioners. Others were the technical administrators instrumental to founding of the institute namely, Dr Aliyu Tanko, Coordinator HIN and HSS; Professor Mohammed Nasirudeen Maiturare, Interim Rector, HIN; Alhaji Ibrahim Jalingo, Interim Registrar; Professor Abdulwasiu O. Gabadeen, Interim Director of Academic Planning; Alhaji Shehu Dogo, member Board Committee on HIN; Dr Bala Muhammad, another member, Board Committee on HIN, and Interim Principal and key officer of the HIN, as well as NAHCON’s key staff under the HSS unit.

 

Journey to the formation of what is today recognized as the Hajj Institute of Nigeria began on 22nd April, 2016. NAHCON, under the leadership of Barr. Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad, inaugurated a committee on establishment of Hajj Training Institute. It had Prof. Abubakar A. Mustapha, OFR mni as chairman, Dr. Saleh Okenwa as co-chairman along with twelve other members including the present NAHCON Chairman/CEO, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, as member. This committee had five terms of reference and their report was submitted to the then NAHCON Chairman/CEO on Wednesday 5th June, 2016.

 

The HIN coordinator’s presentation at the retreat was an inspiring story of patient dedication and a quantum leap that produced the HIN today. Following consultations with various experts, counselling, identifying technical partners, the management of NAHCON’s fourth board finally constituted a Technical Advisory Committee to assist the Commission in actualizing the establishment of proposed Hajj institute. The committee was inaugurated and commenced its operations in September, 2020.

 

Thereafter, on Tuesday 19th August 2020, a formal letter of intent was submitted by the Chairman/CEO to the Executive Secretary, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) requesting its approval for the Establishment of the Hajj Institute of Nigeria. At the meeting, the Executive Secretary resolved to expedite the process by sending a team from the NBTE on an Advisory Visit, which is one of the Board’s regulatory requirements. Dr Tanko revealed that, following the scheduled visit to the proposed institute’s site, the team of inspectors were impressed with HIN’s assets which they described as more than expected. That scenario boosted the institute’s chances.

 

The NBTE had thereafter granted approval for NAHCON to bring up a workable, Academic Curriculum for tutoring in the proposed National Hajj Training Institute. Presentation of the working documents formed the focus of the first board meeting. According to the strategic focus as presented by the Interim Rector, HIN is designed to improve the quality of manpower in the Hajj and Umrah Sector in Nigeria to be at par with global industry standards. Thus, the HIN will organize and implement professional training programmes leading to the award of Professional Hajj Management Certificate, Diploma and PGD in core and allied related  courses.

HIN is scheduled to take-off with a Professional Certificate in Strategic Management for the Executive Managers of Hajj and Umrah Industry. In addition to the afore mentioned, the school will offer two Diploma Programmes, one in Hospitality &Tourism and the other in Computer Science. Some areas of coverage as take-off courses in the institute are: Leadership, Management and Responsibility: The Islamic Perspective; An overview of Hajj management structures in Nigeria and Saudi-Arabia; Foundations of strategic management for emerging Leaders and Managers of Hajj and Umrah Industry;     Management Information System for Hajj and Umrah Operations; Value Chain Analysis and Evaluation of Hajj and Umrah Operations; Building and Managing Team Members for Successful Hajj/Umrah Operations; General Studies on International Language Proficiency Skill; PROJECT WRITING: Developing Digital Transformation Strategies for 2022 Hajj Operations (Maximum of 2000 words).

Other Governance Documents presented were the Proposed Condition of Service, and A Students’ Handbook with foreword by NAHCON’s current Chairman, and.

At the conclusion of deliberations, it was agreed that all suggestions and additions made after the presentations shall be incorporated to form the working document that will be presented for consideration of NAHCON Board.

1-     All plans and proposed actions in the presentations shall continue to be implemented without hindrance pending final ratification of NAHCON Board.

2-     The Board and Management appreciate the submission of the HIN team

3-     The Commission will continue to consult with any person or corporate entity that can contribute to the success of HIN.

NAHCON Chairman described the achievement as a personal joy, being part of the team at incubation. He expressed gratitude to the Almighty for enabling and guiding the Commission to reach this level in establishing the HIN.

Alhaji Abdullahi Magaji Hardawa in his closing remarks thanked the participants for their contributions and prayed for divine guidance and capacity to carry out their obligations in the best interest of the Muslim Ummah.

Usara writes from NAHCON