National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has reiterated its commitment to smooth operations of this year’s holy pilgrimage, which commences in early July.
Acting chairman of the commission, Alhaji Abdullahi Muhammad gave the assurance at the National Mosque in Abuja during the stakeholders’ meeting and presentation of awards to stakeholders who performed credibly during the 2018 hajj operation.
To achieve this, he said the 2019 Hajj operations will be driven by Information Communications Technology, ICT, especially for effective monitoring and to ensure that pilgrims get value for their money.
According to HIM, the innovation will also ensure that pilgrims who genuinely pay hajj fare through their respective Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards, or other hajj licensed operation agencies were not denied the opportunity to perform Hajj.
Muhammad pointed out that “those pilgrims who genuinely paid their money for the performance of Hajj, through their respective Hajj boards or through their licensed Hajj operators are not denied the opportunity to perform their Hajj”.
“This also calls for concern and more vigilance on the part of the states, to monitor the activities of their ICT and VISA officers”, the NAHCON boss added.
He further explained that the innovation would ensure that private air operators effectively monitor their staff to ensure that pilgrims were not short changed in anyway.
Muhammad, however, urged the intending pilgrims to exercise extra caution and adhere strictly to the rules and regulations governing the conduct of 2019 Hajj while in the holy land to avoid getting into trouble with Saudi authorities.
He also appealed to state governors and their Amirul Hajj to adhere to their advisory role during the Hajj operations while cautioning Hajj reporters to restrict themselves to the reportage of the pilgrimage.
According to him, the role of Amirul Hajj has nothing to do with the day-to-day management of the Hajj and operational arrangements already put in place by NAHCON.
“To our leaders, the state governors and their appointed Amirul Hajj, I want to appeal to them to understand clearly that Amirul Hajj role is advisory through the governors that appointed them.
“Amirul Hajj’s role has nothing to do with the day-to-day management of the Hajj or tinkering with the operational arrangements already put in place.
“I appeal to our elders that are appointed to this position of Amirul Hajj to restrict themselves to their role”, he stressed.
Muhammad commended Presidents Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate and the House of Representatives as well as the stakeholders for their tremendous supports for the success of the Hajj operations.
Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, in their goodwill messages at the occasion, expressed support for the success of the Hajj operation and called on NAHCON to improve on accommodation and transportation, among other challenges being faced by the pilgrims.
A the event, Lagos State received award for producing the most discipline contingents, FCT rewarded for being the best overall Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board while Executive Secretary, Kogi Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board got award for being the most innovative among his colleague during the last exercise.
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