NAHCON begins preparation for 2023 , after failure of 2022 Hajj exercise
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said that it has started preparations for a successful 2023 Hajj operations to improve on the various lapses noticed this year that led to its failure.
Solacebase had reported that close to 2,000 intending pilgrims could not be airlifted that led to complaints by states pilgrims boards and Umurah and Tour operators.
Similarly, the over 250 staff of the commission deployed to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj exercise were not paid their estacode in good time and when NAHCON paid for a week out of the outstanding, the staff were told that they would be paid for 28 days instead of the 30 days approved by the Presidency.
While most of the pilgrims also complaints of low quality of foods and quantity as the caterers also confirmed to reporters that they were not mobilized as it was the tradition.
NAHCON Chairman, Alhaji Zikrillah Hassan disclosed this on Thursday at the annual Post Arafat Stakeholders Meeting to assess the performance of operation of the 2022 Hajj.
He said that the lapses brought to the notice of the commission by pilgrims during his visit to their tents in Mina on Sunday would be addressed, adding that service providers had already been contacted on the issue.
“Like we keep explaining, the 2022 Hajj is an emergency one and since Hajj is a call by Allah only those called will make it. The commission, however, was at its best to ensure the comfort of all pilgrims.
“Some of the lapses noticed by pilgrims are being discussed with the concerned private tour operators and state pilgrims welfare boards. Some of the lapses are not in the purview of the commission.
“Overall, we will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that the welfare of pilgrims are given priority by the Saudi Arabia authorities, private tour operators and various state pilgrims welfare boards,” he said.
He said that the pilgrims return journey back home would begin by Friday on a first to come first to go basis, adding that the commission has planned a smooth flight arrangement.
The NAHCON boss also said that the issue of non repayment of some private tour operators for monies paid for pilgrims that could not make it had been sorted out with the various Saudi Arabia companies.
“We got a commitment from them that the money was still with them and the refund was delayed because of some disparities in account names and/or account number. Actually, a substantial part of the refund has been made and we are assured the rest would be paid soon,” he said.
Sen. Adamu Bulkachuwa, chairman Senate committee on Foreign Affairs, expressed satisfaction with attitude of the pilgrims during the exercise, adding that they proved themselves worthy of the call of Allah.
“In spite of the various challenges encountered during this Hajj operations, the pilgrims exhibited a sense of discipline and this is very commendable for the country,” he said.
Mr Abubakar Nalaraba, chairman House committee of Hajj, gave the assurance that all grievances by the pilgrims would be closely attended to with a view to improving their Hajj experience.
“The house committee will ensure necessary legislation continue to be put in place for the overall improvement of the Hajj experience for Nigerians who are able to make the spiritual journey,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that presentation were made by the various heads of committees inaugurated for the running of the 2022 Hajj operations.
The committees include the medical team, accommodation team, reception team as well as the monitoring team.(NAN)