The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, on Thursday informed that preparations for the 2023 Hajj would commence on December 21.
Speaking at the 2022 post-Hajj stakeholders meeting held at the National Mosque in Abuja, Hassan said preparations would start with a video conference between NAHCON and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah that day.
According to him, it behoved on all stakeholders to focus on proper planning and prudence for next year’s Hajj with a view to pleasing Allah
“Hajj 2023 is around the corner, it behoves us all to focus on proper planning and prudence bearing in mind that our goal is to please Allah through our intending pilgrims who invested so much with the sole aim of serving their Lord.
“In addition, I am happy to inform you all that unlike last Hajj when the preparation started late due to the absence of information, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has intimated to us that arrangement for Hajj 2023 will begin with a conference via video communication scheduled for 21 December 2022 between the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria and the Ministry,” the chairman said.
He informed that NAHCON planned to run the 2023 Hajj on both its Hajj Savings Scheme (HSS) and the conventional pay-as-you-go basis.
In his words, “Our policy for Hajj 2023 is to maintain the status quo; that is to run the HSS concurrently with the conventional pay-as-you-go, as it was for this year’s Hajj.”
He disclosed that the stakeholders’ meeting was designed to bring stakeholders in the Nigerian Hajj industry together with a view to deliberate and review this year’s Hajj as well as proffer solutions for improvement.
“This occasion is designed to bring together the crème de la crème of the Hajj industry in Nigeria to brainstorm and collectively review the last Hajj and then proffer solutions for improvement,” Hassan said.
He added that “true, no organization can succeed without constant networking with its sister agencies and other patrons whose supportiveness is indispensable in accomplishing superior results. As such, the Commission considers every party here present essential to its success.”
The NAHCON CEO asserted that the commission carries the burden of ensuring that Nigerian pilgrims receive the best services both home and abroad, saying that, “this duty is indeed intricate because it is a task that forces the Commission to be reliant, like a machine wheel that needs all its cogs to fit in order to spin unhindered.”
He, however, submitted that the Hajj body was blessed with several stakeholders with whom it shared symbiotic relationships to function.
According to him, “if each of us plays our individual role dedicatedly and sincerely before the Almighty, we will always return here to celebrate our successes.”
Also speaking, the Chairman, of the House of Representatives Committee on Pilgrimage, Honourable Hassan Nalaraba, said the 2022 Hajj was without its challenges and expressed the hope that necessary amendments would be made to make the 2023 edition better.
“There is no successful Hajj without peculiar challenges associated with it.
“We all know what were the challenges of the 2022 Hajj exercise, and I do hope that we are going to make some necessary amendments and adjustments to make the 2023 Hajj better.
“Both NAHCON and state agencies would continue to improve our relationships and corrections in the 2022 Hajj to make the next Hajj more successful,” the House committee chairman said.
He then assured that the committee would continue to work in harmonious relationship with both NAHCON and state welfare boards to ensure Nigerian pilgrims get value for their money.