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Shettima inaugurates NAHCON board

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Vice President Kashim Shettima has inaugurated the newly constituted board of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria with a call on the new management to introduce innovations in hajj operations in Nigeria.

Speaking during the inauguration of the new board at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday, the Vice President urged members to synergise and bring fresh perspectives to the operations of the commission.

“For you, beyond your appointment, it is a win-win situation because if you serve the pilgrims well, almighty Allah will compensate you in the year after. So, it is more of a religious duty than an administrative function,” the VP emphasized according to a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Stanley Nkwocha.

The statement is titled ‘VP Shettima inaugurates new NAHCON board, tasks members on innovations in Hajj operations.’

On January 10, 2024, President Tinubu approved the appointment of a new board and management team for NAHCON.

Those appointed were Jalal Arabi as Chairman, Aliu Abdulrazaq (Commissioner, Policy, Personnel, and Finance), Prince Anofi Elegushi (Commissioner, Operations), and Professor Abubakar Yagawal (Commissioner, Planning and Research).

Membership drawn from the geo-political zones include Dr Muhammad Umaru Ndagi (North Central), Abba Jato Kala (North-East), Sheikh Muhammad Bin Othman (North West), Tajudeen Oladejo Abefe (South West), Aishat Obi Ahmed (South East).

Others were Zainab Musa (South-South), Professor Musa Inuwa Fodio (Jama’atul Nasril Islam), Professor Adedimizi Mahfouz Adebola (Supreme Council on Islamic Affairs).

According to the VP, serving on the NAHCON board is very important given that “Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam”.

Speaking further about the composition of the new board and the task ahead of them, Shettima said, “The president deliberately picked people with diverse backgrounds and untainted by the past so that they can bring fresh perspectives and innovations to Hajj operations in Nigeria and also interrogate the management structure of the organisation and bring out the best from the staff.”

“As usual, you will encounter a lot of challenges but I will urge you to fuse into a single force and achieve our desired result. I will urge you to wear your thinking caps and come up with robust solutions that will satisfy Nigerian pilgrims.

“It is a very tough assignment; this is the nature of pilgrimage. But I want you to have it at the back of your minds that you are rendering service to God and humanity,” he added.

The Vice President particularly urged the new management to improve on the Hajj Savings Scheme to boost the number of pilgrims participating in the exercise across the country.

His words: “There are States that have become success stories in the Hajj Savings Scheme, and there is a need for greater advocacy so that this scheme can be replicated across the country.”

He further challenged the board to “engage our agents and operations partners to foster a longer-term relationship so that they can make significant capital investment in operations in the holy land.”

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the new board, Arabi, thanked the President and Vice President for finding them worthy of service to the nation through the NAHCON board.

He said given the importance of the task ahead of them, the new board would work as a team to improve Hajj operations in Nigeria, assuring that pilgrims will get value for their money.

The NAHCON CEO said his team has already commenced work with a visit to Saudi Arabia to inspect facilities ahead of the forthcoming operations.

Also, present at the event were the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Pate; Ministers of Aviation, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, and Interior, Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.

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