•Calls on states to justify fare
By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Media Awareness Initiative on Hajj (MAI-HAJJ) has expressed concern over the increase in the 2014 Hajj fares for both the northern and southern departures zones.
MAI-HAJJ, in a statement jointly issued yesterday by its National Chairman, Garba Ubale Dambatta and its National Publicity Secretary, Muhd Kabiru Yusuf, urged all states’ Pilgrim Welfare Boards and states’ Pilgrims Commissions to properly justify this increase, by providing quality service to all the intending pilgrims throughout the period of the Hajj operations.
The association also called on the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to come up with a strong monitoring team that will ensure that all the state Pilgrim Welfare Boards provides decent accommodations to their Pilgrims in Makkah, to commensurate with what NAHCON used to provide in Madinah and Mina that will justify the fare collected this year.
It urged NAHCON to put in place mechanisms of effective monitoring of the feeding arrangements introduced it with a view to avoid lapses recorded over the years. “As we observed that feeding arrangements in the past by some states pilgrims boards were totally unorganized which at times leave pilgrims without food.
“On transport arrangements, NAHCON should ensure that the disappointment faced last year by some pilgrims forcing them spending hours by the road side unattended to due to break down of vehicles allocated to them did not repeat itself.
“However, MAI-HAJJ appreciates the introduction of new e-registration of pilgrims which fully commenced this year as this will enable both Saudi Arabia and NAHCON to establish a pilgrim data bank for proper monitoring as well as to checkmate hajj seats racketeering and high incidences of illegal pilgrims going for Hajj”, it stated.