The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has successfully airlifted over 61.1 per cent of Nigerian pilgrims back home since the beginning of the exercise on July 15.
The spokesperson of the commission, Hajiya Fatima Sanda Usara, made this known in a statement issued on Saturday, expressing delight at the progress being recorded in the return leg of the trip.
She said that the exercise has recorded stable progress compared to the outbound journey from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia, which recorded the movement of 14, 267 pilgrims after 15 days.
The corresponding figure on the return leg is currently 20, 124 and still counting for today, the 15th day.
“The airlift figures in percentage are 44.1 per cent during the outbound airlift, and over 61.1 per cent in the return leg, an over 17 per cent improvement.”
She noted that six states, Benue, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Yobe, and FCT have recorded 100 per cent completion of dispatch back to Nigeria. While Adamawa and a few others are on their last legs.
“For states like Lagos, with about 49 pilgrims are left, Bauchi, 113; Borno 233. The hindrance to their complete departure is their visit to Madinah for which they are in the queue. Indeed, the Commission’s initial projection was that all pilgrims would visit Madinah during the pre-Hajj phase. Unfortunately, the late arrival of some of the country’s pilgrims during the first phase necessitated a re-arrangement for the second phase.
“As is customary in Saudi Arabia, any mass movement of pilgrims must be captured and cleared in the Hajj portal before a permit is granted. Hence, Nigeria being one among hundreds of nations obtaining similar clearance before moving its pilgrims to Madinah, is doing so according to clearance granted.”
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