From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina
National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has expressed concern over the new guidelines introduced by the Saudi authorities over the conduct of 2019 Hajj exercise.
The National Chairman of the commission, Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad stated this yesterday in Katsina at the sensitization workshop organized for Hajj 2019 prospective pilgrims.
He noted that one of the major concerns towards the operations was the introduction of physical data capturing of all intending pilgrims which was restricted to Lagos, Kano and Abuja.
The chairman who was represented by Commissioner Operations of the commission, Alhaji Abdullahi Modibbo Saleh said the Commission has written a letter to the Saudi authorities through the ministry of foreign affairs on how to address the issue of date capturing.
He similarly advised intending pilgrims to make sure they completed the payment of their hajj seats before the 31st of March 2019 to avoid losing the seats.
Muhammad disclosed that the Saudi authorities have stated that as from March 2019 they would close the portal for the registration of pilgrims and issuance of visas to pilgrims.
He stressed that the early payment of the hajj fees would enable the commission to make early preparations for the pilgrims’ accommodation, vehicles and catering services.
In a remark, the Director- General of Katsina State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Muhammad Abu Rimi, urged pilgrims to adhere strictly to the guidelines provided by the NAHCON and Saudi Authorities before, during and after the Hajj exercise.