Published On: Wed, Jun 26th, 2019

2019 Hajj: NAHCON awards stakeholders, says inaugural flight departs July 10

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By Maryam Garba Hassan

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has announced that the inaugural flight for this year’s hajj exercise will be on the 10th of July.
The Commission said the state to flag up the inaugural flight will be announced soon as the bidding is still open even as Kano, Niger and Katsina States have expressed interest.
The announcement was made yesterday in Abuja by the acting Chairman of the Commission, Barr. Abdullahi Muktar, at the 2019 stake holders meeting and award presentation.
He said this year’s hajj is unique as visas will now be issued in states not by the Saudi embassies as it was before.
He said in order to give chance to more Nigerians to perform this year’s hajj, the Commission has extended the date for the registration to 15th of July 2019.
He said henceforth, hajj exercise will be done with more caution adding that there will no longer be room for changes but strict compliance with the Saudi Arabia rules and regulations.
He said pilgrims must meet all health requirements as stated in the guides before they can be registered successfully.
He said enlightenment should be taken seriously as knowledge is essential part of hajj rites and urged the Ulamas to discharge their responsibilities diligently and stick to their roles and not to interfere with operational matters.
He promised Nigeria’s pilgrims that there will be tight security, good welfare and medical care for this year’s hajj.
In his remarks, the Senate President who was represented commended the Commission for the reduction of this years hajj fare and called on them to ensure that pilgrims’ Basic Travel Allowance (BTA) are paid locally before departure to avoid issue of delay in payment and mismanagement by some states.
He further urged the Commission to also ensure that pilgrims are given value for their money during the hajj exercise.
Awards were presented to different categories of stakeholders for outstanding performances in the 2018 hajj exercise.
Niger state Governor won the award for best supporting Governor for the 2018 hajj while the award for the most disciplined Pilgrims Welfare Board was given to Lagos state.
Kaduna, Kano and the FCT won the award for the overall best States respectively.
Kogi State won the award for the most innovative Executive Secretary of Pilgrims Welfare Board.
The ward for best performing tour operators goes to Al Qibla International Limited, Hajj Mabrur Ventures Limited, Shehura Travel Tour Limited, Al hujjaj Travel and Tour Limited and Comrel Travel and Tour Limited respectively.
For the media category, Blue Print Newspapers won the award for the highest NAHCON coverage for 2018.
Staff of the commission was also awarded for their outstanding performances in different aspect of the 2018 hajj exercise.
The event was attended by Ulamas from different states, tour operators, security agencies, media and other relevant stakeholders.

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