By Maryam Garba Hassan
Management of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) took its campaign for support for Makkah Route Initiative to Nigeria Immigration Service.
A statement issued yesterday in Abuja by NAHCON’s Head, Public Affairs, Fatima Sanda Usara, said the visit led by the Chairman of the Commission, Zikirullah Kunle Hassan, was to facilitate smooth coordination and eventual realisation of the Makkah Route Initiative (MRI) aspiration of the Commission.
It said the NAHCON Chairman has held similar coordination meetings with Minister of Interior, Ra’uf Arigbesola and the Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Capt. Rabi’u Hamisu Yadudu, when the later paid him a courtesy visit.
Commenting during the visit, NAHCON Chairman appreciated role of Nigerian Immigration Service in the success of Hajj operations.
He introduced the MRI and solicited collaboration for the success of the initiative, the service being an important stakeholder in Hajj exercise.
According to the statement, the initiative when begun will reduce time spent at airports during screening before take off to the holy lands, Nigeria having a large contingent to Hajj.
Hassan further explained that five other countries have already commenced the homeland screening procedure and Nigeria will hopefully be the next.
The statement further said the Comptroller General of Immigration Service, Muhammadu Babandede appreciated the visit and promised to deploy all resources for the success of the project.
He identified key areas where the NIS has made improvement in screening of international passengers and made suggestions for further enhancement and collaboration in matters of pilgrimage.
NAHCON will embark on further meetings to ensure that the MRI becomes a reality in the next Hajj, the statement added.