Barrister Zikirullah Olakunle Hassan on Thursday, formally resumed duty as the new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, promised to uplift Hajj operations in Nigeria.
Barr. Hassan, in his address shortly after taking over from the immediate former Chairman, Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad, pledged to continue the never ending journey to improve, elevate and uplift the Hajj administration in Nigeria to an enviable height
In his address, immediate past Amirul hajj of Osun State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board praised Allah for bestowing and trusting the leadership of NAHCON on him while also thanking the president for deeming him worthy for the task.
“It is a great honour for me to stand among you today as the CEO of the 4th Board of this fledgling organisation. Indeed, my heartfelt gratitude to Almighty Allah, the Creator of the universe who has bestowed and thrusted the leadership of this organization on us. May His name be praised.
“I also want to thank Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, for deeming us worthy and giving us the privilege to steer the affairs of the Commission for the next four years to the NEXT LEVEL,” he said.
Speaking further, the one time National Amir of MSSN lauded the efforts of the previous chairmen saying that, “It is now our Board’s task to carry on what the visionary pioneers Mallam Mohammed Musa Bello and Barrister Abdullahi Muhhtar Mohammed, (MON) started.
“I want to place on record my sincere commendation to the outgoing Chairman/CEO, Barr. Abdullahi Mukhtar Mohammed, MON, FCIA, for his positive efforts and giant strides during his tenure. You will be remembered for changing the face of Hajj management in Nigeria. But we have always understood that when times change, so must we, because the new time requires new response to new challenges.
“We understood that an outworn programme is inadequate to address the need of our time especially in the area of funding and revenue generation. So we must harness new ideas to make and reduce the cost of Hajj so that many Ummah can be empowered and enabled to heed and hearken to the divine call and obligation.
“It’s indeed imperative and important for us to thread this path. It is a hard choice we have to make. I know and understand that the path towards achieving this lofty dream will be long and indeed difficult, but we cannot resist this transition. We must and are ready to lead it”.
Commenting on staff welfarism, the NAHCON helmsman, who is the first southerner to head the commission since it was set up 13 years ago by former president Olusegun Obasanjo, said that he is committed to the welfare of staff members, adding that training and retraining of staffers would always occur under his watch.
“I want to pledge our commitment to your welfare by giving you your rights and privilege without discrimination or bias. In this connection, we intend to pursue the upscale capacity building and skill acquisition through training and retraining of every category of staff to new trends and development in Hajj and also ensuring the take-off of the long awaited International Hajj Training Institute because it is in our own interest and conscience, and I believe it is the only source of hope to sustain the foundation, legacies and success of this great edifice called NAHCON.
“I’m confident that with common effort and purpose, with passion and dedication, we can achieve and answer the call of history to make NAHCON the doyen and pride of all Muslim Ummah in the country, and become a blessed child in whom the Federal Government will be well pleased,” he declared.
In his conclusion, Barr. Hassan thanked every Nigerian sincerely, saying that it is his hope that all Nigerians would work in concert with him as chairman, NAHCON, in steering the ship to a safe haven.