2024 Hajj: CSO commends NAHCON, states, calls for improved services

A civil society organisation (CSO), the Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), has commended the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) officials from the 36 states and the airlines involved in the airlift of Nigerian pilgrims to this year’s hajj in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for a seamless exercise so far.

The commendation is contained in a statement signed by the national coordinator of the organisation, Ibrahim Mohammed, made available to Tribune Online in Makkah on Friday.

According to him, the states had to be particularly commended for their departure from the past in the mobilisation of their pilgrims to their respective Hajj camps ahead of time.

“About 95% of intending pilgrims have so far been airlifted to Saudi Arabia by the selected airlines with little or no incident, this is most commendable.

“Commendation must particularly go to the states for always mobilising their pilgrims to camp ahead of their trip which is a departure from the past. We urge all concern to continue in that regard,” Mohammed stated.

He notes that the decision by Saudi authorities to force countries to process visas for their pilgrims and sign service contracts way ahead of time also helped the cause of this year’s Hajj airlift.

The CSO, however, called on the officials to double their efforts and tackle recurring challenges, especially with the quality and quantity of food being served to pilgrims. 

While stating that there were numerous complaints of insufficient ration of food and poor quality by pilgrims, the IHR stated that NAHCON and states needed an all-inclusive proactive approach to solving the problem. 

The CSO also called for a faster process of allocating bed spaces to pilgrims both in Makkah and Madinah. 

According to the organisation, “After spending some time at Hajj transit camps and flying for about 5-6 hours, it is not good for pilgrims to be made to wait for a long time to be allocated bed spaces.

“The whole idea of sending an advanced team of officials is to ensure issues such as these do not occur. All involved should therefore up the ante and do the needful.”

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Source:

Tribune Online