The Vice President, Senator Kashim Shatima has charged the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria NAHCON’s board to appeal to the Saudi Arabian authorities to rescind its decision to provide feeding for Nigerian pilgrims during the five days Hajj rites in Saudi Arabia and allow Hajj managers from the country to feed their pilgrims.
The Vice President stated this when the management board of the Commission met with him to formally brief him on the outcome of the 2023 Hajj at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Wednesday.
He urged the Kingdom to allow the State Pilgrims Welfare Boards to feed their pilgrims to avert physical or health discomfort during the Hajj rites.
“It is essential for the Kingdom to review its feeding arrangements at the Masha’ir with weather and climate change. Many of the Pilgrims if not fed properly with their local delicacies might not have the physical strength to perform the spiritual exercise which is the main purpose of Hajj. I will therefore urge you to appeal and persuade them to temper the economic consideration in favor of the well-being of the Pilgrims”.
Senator Shettima whose office now supervises the Commission praised the management board for the successful completion of Hajj 2023, while urging them to embark on broad and aggressive education and enlightenment for the 2024 Hajj in order to ensure smooth and hitch free operation.
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Earlier in his address, the Chairman/CEO of NAHCON, Alhaji Zikiruah Kunle Hassan briefed the vice president on the 2023 Hajj and the steps towards preparation for the 2024 Hajj.
According to him, the 2023 Hajj was not without its challenges, but with the support and intervention of the Vice President, especially in transferring funds to the Kingdom, these challenges were overcome.
The Chairman, who highlighted some of the board’s achievements since its inception in 2020, said the Hajj Savings Scheme (HSS), the Hajj Institute of Nigeria (HIN), and the development of the economy were part of the transformational arrangements to ensure a sustainable Hajj economy.
The Chairman’s entourage includes the Commissioner in charge of Policy, Personnel, Management and Finance (PPMF) Alhaji Nura Hassan Yakassai, Commissioner in charge of Operations and Licensing, Alhaji Abdullahi Magaji Hardawa, Commissioner in charge of Planning, Research, Statistics, Information and Library Services (PRSILS) Sheikh Suleman Momoh, Secretary of the Commission, Dr Rabiu Kontagora and a host of the management staff of the Commission.