By Maryam Garba Hassan
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has said that there is no going back on the March 2018 deadline for the completion of documentation of intending pilgrims to the holy land for the 2018 hajj pilgrimage.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the Commission, Barr. Abdullahi Muktar, yesterday in Abuja at a meeting with NAHCON’s Management and members of the Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria at its headquarters.
He said the Saudi Authority will also close its portal by the end of May 2018 and therefore, advised Nigerians who want to perform next year’s hajj to plan ahead.
Responding to appeals made by the association’s immediate past and former leaders to make E- registration of pilgrims easy, Muktar said the commission, states government and the relevant authorities are working hard to ensure the registration of pilgrims.
He said the e- registration has drastically reduced the number of pilgrims who abscond during Umrah from thousands to less than two hundred.
He said every pilgrim going for umrah must be made to return to Nigeria adding that the Commission will only work with serious tour operators to save Nigeria the serious embarassement such pilgrims cause the country.
He read riot act to the members of AHUON saying the commission will not accept what happened to some pilgrims who travelled through operators for the 2017 hajj where pilgrims where lodged in houses states pilgrims welfare boards stopped using in the last ten years and without furniture .
‘We will inspect ccomodations and vehicles provided for the pilgrims which must be air conditionwd”.
He said the commison pursued the caseof pilgrims not given value for their money to the logical conclusion and ensured that they were refunded their money.
He urged AHUON to comply with the Saudi new policies to achieve a successful hajj exercise.