The hopes of many prospective Nigerian pilgrims to perform this 2023 Hajj may have been answered as the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has approved the pre-covid allocation to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).
The good news was announced by the Director General in charge of Hajj Missions at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, Bahauddeen bin Yusuf Alwani at a preparatory meeting for Hajj Season 1444AH via a video conference with the Chairman/CEO of NAHCON, Alhaji Zukrullah Kunle Hassan.
He said that the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has granted Nigerian the previous allocation hitherto enjoyed by the country.
Other guidelines released for the 2023 Hajj by the Ministry included the removal of age barrier or limit and cancellation of PCR Test for the Hajj.
The Ministry has also granted the Commission the Right of choice of package for pilgrims services from the Mutawwiffs of African Non-Arab countries, the company responsible for the Tent, Feeding and Transportation arrangements at the Mashair.
In addition, the Ministry also stated that henceforth any payment to service providers must be through the e-track or e-wallet platforms as the Kingdom will not take responsibilities for payment outside the two platforms.
The Ministry also announced that accommodation agreement are to be concluded by the 10th of February (Shaaban) and others by 24th January (Rajab).
Details of the discussion included that information on the choice of airliners approved by the Commission for the airlift operations and their allocation must be submitted early enough to fast-track the Hajj 2023 preparation. Other highlights are;
That NAHCON must submit information of pilgrims 72 hours prior to their departure to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to enable adequate arrangement for their services.
Earlier the DG had expressed regret over the Ministry’s inability to grant NAHCON’s request during the 2022 Hajj for additional 5,000 allocation and airlift slot.
In his response, the Chairman/CEO, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan expressed gratitude and appreciation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the early preparation and restoring the country’s Hajj allocation. He said that it was heat warming that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the Ministry of Hajj has restored the hope and confidence of many prospective Nigerian pilgrims that desired to perform the Hajj this year.
He also thanked the Ministry for its consistent supports and cooperation in serving the guest of Allah.
The Chairman however appealed to the Ministry to allow the commission to handle the feeding management during the Mashair activities, so that they can serve the Nigerian pilgrims better than what obtained during the 2022 Hajj by the Mutawwiffs.
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