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Prepare your pilgrims for conveyance to Saudi Arabia, NAHCON tells state boards, tour operators

As the airlift of Nigerian pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj continues, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), on Thursday, has urged all states’ pilgrims’ boards and private operators to concentrate more on getting their pilgrims ready for their timely conveyance to the Holy Land.

The commission, in a press release signed by its Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Fatima Sanda Usara, stated that the need to move all registered pilgrims to the Kingdom safely before the closure of Saudi airspace was presently its most important concern.

The Hajj body similarly assured licensed tour operators that initial drawbacks experienced due to unforeseen developments in the new operating system have been successfully settled.

It, therefore, stated that the licensed tour operators were expected to commence printing their pilgrims’ travel documents without delay.

The commission then advised registered pilgrims to comply with their managers’ instructions accordingly in order to conclude the 2022 Hajj outbound operation without hitches.

Meanwhile, the Hajj body has declared that there are no more Hajj slots for states pilgrims’ welfare boards and licensed tour operators, adding that those allocated to the country have been exhausted.

It, however, is assured that if Saudi Arabia honours its (NAHCON’s) request for additional slots, it shall willingly distribute the same to all stakeholders demanding additional allocations without hesitation.

“It is hoped that all Hajj managers had utilised their allocations based on a first-come, first-served arrangement as agreed from the onset of operations.

“The Commission however assures that if Saudi Arabia honours its request for additional slots, NAHCON shall willingly distribute same to all stakeholders demanding for additional allocations without hesitation,” it stated.

The pilgrims from 16 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were airlifted in 28 flights with Lagos State leading with the highest number of 1,598 pilgrims already in the Holy Land.

Adamawa has 1,117; Bauchi 1,303 Benue 101; Borno 1,040; FCT 1,123; Kaduna 393; Kogi 361; Kwara 540 and Katsina 554.

Others are Nasarawa 804; Ogun 400; Osun 577; Oyo 340; Sokoto 1,227; Yobe 401 and Zamfara 773.

More Nigerian pilgrims are expected to be conveyed to Saudi Arabia in the days to come to join other pilgrims from across the world to perform this year’s Hajj, which is the fifth pillar of Islam. A total of 43,008 Nigerian pilgrims are expected to perform this year’s Hajj.

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