National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has explained that it reduced the 2019 Hajj fares by 620 Riyals, equivalent to 165 US Dollars for intending pilgrims as a result of the re-classification of land transportation routes as well as reduction of rates on the routes to be used by Nigeria as contained on the portal of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.
The commission, in a statement issued over the weekend by its Head of Public Affairs, Hajia Fatima Sanda Usara, therefore said that “Nigerian pilgrims from all states of the Federation, the FCT (Federal Capital Territory) and the Armed Forces, are now to pay N51, 170. 45 less than the fares earlier announced”.
It has therefore directed all state pilgrims welfare boards, SPWBs, the FCT and the Armed Forces “to immediately announced the review and commence refunds to pilgrims that have paid over the reviewed fare”.
NAHCON added that it has extended the deadline for closure of pilgrims’ registration to July 15, 2019 “due to demands from various quarters and in view of the development”.
It therefore advised all intending pilgrims for this year’s Hajj to conclude their payments and all necessary registration procedures before the deadline.
Meanwhile, the commission has constituted a Task Force on Visa Violation as part of measures to halt the occurrence of some pilgrims over-staying their visa permit after the holy pilgrimage.
In a separate statement, NAHCON stated that membership of the task force was drawn from various security agencies and staff of the commission.
Similarly, the Commission has also concluded a three-day induction training and inauguration of staff committees charged with the responsibility of monitoring service providers of Nigerian pilgrims in both Makkah and Madinah.
While inaugurating the committees in Abuja, NAHCON chairman, Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad admonished members on some issues necessary for the comfort of pilgrims.
These includes allocating rooms and getting them ready before arrival of pilgrims, that they must not be allowed to stay for long in hotel reception
Muhammad charged the committee to ensure that the pilgrims are not overcrowded in rooms, must not be served cold or unwholesome meals or fruits.
He also enjoined the committees to ensure that there is no breach of contract, especially on accommodation, security, sanitation, provision of toiletries and constant changing of beddings, among others on the part of any service provider, and where such occurs, the providers must be sanctioned appropriately.
The chairman urged members of the respective committees to always discharge their duties diligently and not to compromise the pilgrims’ wellbeing but resist temptation and bad temperament, bearing in mind that there will be accountability before the Almighty.
Committees inaugurated include feeding and accommodation in Makka and Madinah, hand luggage monitoring, tents and Masha’er, Turadudiyya (Transportation), among others.
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