The much anticipated Hajj Institute of Nigeria (HIN), midwifed by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), has officially kicked-off full training on Hajj and Umrah management by admitting 21 students for its professional certificate programme.
The 21 pioneer students who are members of the current board of NAHCON and States Chairmen Forum, are to undergo a four-week training on strategic management of hajj and umrah operations for award of certificate from the institute.
Institute will improve manpower in hajj sector – NAHCON chair
Speaking at the official launching of the institute on Tuesday in Abuja, the chairman of NAHCON, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, said the Institute was established, among other things, to improve the quality of manpower in the hajj and umrah sector in Nigeria to be at par with global industry standards; train and certify all employees in the sector; develop and liaise with relevant bodies, occupational standards for the hajj and umrah professionals in Nigeria and provide an avenue for skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development of Nigerian youths.
Hassan said the 4th board of the NAHCON had chosen to be the pioneer students of the institute not only because of its confidence in the quality of the programmes but to also commence the process of taking hajj and umrah to the next level.
According to him, the Saudi Vision 2030, which all hajj entities across the globe needed to align with, has placed a premium on excellent pilgrim services driven by ICT, saying it was for this reason that the Hajj Institute of Nigeria will provide a platform for training and research on various aspects of hajj and umrah, including the use of technology to improve their operations and services.
“It is my strong belief that I and my colleagues in the board will emerge from this programme more educated and better prepared to steer the affairs of hajj in Nigeria,” Hassan said.
FG tasks Hajj Institute on best services to pilgrims
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, who was also present at the event, charged the newly inaugurated Hajj Institute to continue seeking innovative solutions and new ways of delivering the best services to the nation’s pilgrims through its academic programmes and research.
Boss Mustapha said the federal government is committed to supporting institutions like the HIN whose programs are in tune with the strategic objectives of the present administration.
According to him, the institute is relevant to the government’s focus under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP with a vision of sustained inclusive growth and structural economic transformation, stressing that “our emphasis is focused on improving both public and private sector efficiency, increased national productivity and maximum welfare for Nigerians.”
HIN, he said is “an academic institution established by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON to inject professionalism into the Nigerian hajj and umrah sector and create skilled manpower and jobs for teeming Nigerian youths.”
He said: “Today marks the launch of the first professional certificate programme of the HIN, a programme that is designed to enhance the capacity of Nigeria’s hajj officials, fill the skills gap in the economy and ensure the effective management of our annual pilgrimage to the holy land.
“This is a critical step towards ensuring that our hajj operations are at par with international best practices and our pilgrims receive the highest quality of services during their journey.”
It’s timely, well thought-out move – NBTE Boss
In his keynote address, the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, Prof. Idris Bugaje, described the inauguration of HIN as “a very timely and well thought-out move which will surely improve the service delivery in hajj operations in the coming years.”
He said the HIN was approved by the federal government on March 9, 2022, to operate as an Innovation Enterprise Institution, IEI, offering National Innovation Diploma, NID in Hospitality and Tourism Studies, Computer Studies and other related courses, adding that the institute was advised to sponsor the development of NID curriculum in hajj operations as it relates directly to the mandate of the NAHCON.
The Executive Secretary added: “The institute may also register with some relevant awarding bodies to conduct National Skills Qualifications, NSQ in various areas of interest under the NSQF.”
While urging the Hajj Institute to conduct research into hajj operations past, present and future, Prof. Bugaje assured that the NBTE looks forward to greater collaboration with the young but promising institute to develop more curricula relevant to hajj operations as well as National Occupational Standards (NOS) for skills training on hajj management.
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