The Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Alhaj Zikirullah Kunle Hassan, has stated that the commission will seek for refund to pilgrims in areas the Saudi Arabian authorities failed to deliver adequate services.


The Chairman made this known in Mina, during visitation to pilgrims at their various State Camps to felicitate with them on the successful completion of the Hajj rites and also joined them in celebrating the Eid.


Alhaji Zikirullah informed the pilgrims that already a letter had been written to the relevant Saudi Authority, expressing Nigeria’s displeasure with the feeding arrangements and highlighting the areas of poor service, particularly food. Which he said without the prompt intervention of the Commission and the discipline exhibited by affected pilgrims, it could have led to serious crisis.


The letter, addressed to the Chairman Company of Mutawifs for Pilgrims of African Non-Arab Countries in Macca, dated 10July, 2022, reads in part “I have the honour to bring to your kind attention complaints on inadequate and poor meals supplied to Nigerian pilgrims at Muna… , if not that it was quickly addressed by the Commission, it would have led to serious security breach at the Masha’ir. In view of the above, the Commission deemed that you refund to the aggrieved pilgrims total cost of unsupplied and rejected meals”.


Speaking further, the Chairman, explained that in the area of feeding in Mina unlike previous years, the Saudi Authorities have taken full control.


He used the opportunity to appreciate the pilgrims for their patience and understanding despite the challenges, stressing that Hajj, is a test of human endurance in seeking Allah’s favour. He therefore, urged them to continue to be worthy ambassadors of Nigeria throughout their stay in Saudi Arabia.


The Chairman also appealed to the Pilgrims to pray for the country as we are set to conduct general elections in 2023.


Earlier, another leader of the delegation, Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa, Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee overseeing NAHCON, informed the pilgrims that they were there to felicitate with them on the successful completion of the 2022 Hajj despite unforeseen challenges. He said the delegation was also to interact with them to ascertain the level of service delivery, with a view to addressing all concerns and improving on future Hajj exercise.


He also implored the pilgrims to pray for peace and the safe conduct of the 2023 general elections. He said they should pray for Allah’s guidance on the leadership at various levels of Government for peace and prosperity in the country to continue to reign.


The Ambassador of Nigeria to Saudi Arabia, Alhaji Yahaya Lawal, while speaking to the pilgrims also enjoined them to continue to be of good conduct in the Kingdom and to observe set rules and regulations. He assured that his office will continue to interface with Saudi authorities to ensure that Nigerians are given the best of services.


During the interactive session a major issue that continued to come up was the issue of feeding, where pilgrims appealed to the Commission to ensure the inclusion of local meals in the menu. Other areas of concern highlighted were operational , which the Commission promised to address.


NAHCON management as part of efforts to ensure first class service delivery to Nigeria pilgrims set up three visitation teams, comprising NAHCON Board members, management, staff as well as the media to go round the camps to felicitate and ascertain the level of performance of the Commission from preparations to the commencement of Hajj.



Mr Sanda writes in from Ministry of Information and Culture

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