• Says operations going on as planned
• All pilgrims will be airlifted before closure of Jeddah on June 22: Chairman
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, says the airlift of Nigerian intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the 2023 hajj has entered its 12th day with about thirty thousand (30,000) intending pilgrims safely transported into Madinah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the first phase of the operations.
The Commission noted at the commencement of this year’s airlift services that it had mapped out a 25-day airlift plan to be concluded before closure of the Jeddah airport on 22nd June 2023.
Fatima Sanda Usara, who is the Assistant Director, Public Affairs, NAHCON, in a statement on Tuesday, June 6, said, “Consequently, NAHCON’s airlift operations is ongoing according to plan.”
According to her, NAHCON is committed to providing the best services for its pilgrims at all times. To make certain that pilgrims get standard ministrations, a team of staff were dispatched to Saudi Arabia in advance to ensure that accommodation and catering services arrangements are satisfactory before arrival of the country’s pilgrims.
“Before then, the Commission had screened and selected capable hands in catering services to feed Nigerian pilgrims while in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and secured sufficiently standard accommodation for them. In addition to these selections, the Commission put in place such mechanisms for checks and balances that would ensure service providers render the services they were paid for dully without shortchanging the Nigerian pilgrims.
“Among these mechanisms are clearly stated terms and conditions of engagements, signing of agreements to that respect and advance payment for the services; followed by constant monitoring and supervision by NAHCON staff; plus a complaint portal and open door to receive such complaints where any oversight might have occurred. The complaint line is open 24/7 in Hausa, Fulfulde, Yoruba and Igbo on 097000780. Alternatively, one can visit NAHCON’s portal on nahcon.gov.ng then scroll through the resources for the complaint management portal.
NAHCON called on pilgrims to channel their complaints through the dedicated channels or its officials in Makkah and Madinah.
“Hence, NAHCON enjoins any pilgrim with complaint over poor services rendered (whether in poor catering services, transportation, sanitation and other unsatisfactory service delivery); to lodge same through the aforementioned channels or contact NAHCON’s Madinah and Makkah coordinators with their grievances for such issues to be addressed immediately.
“NAHCON would not hesitate in taking necessary action where there is an obvious infraction on the welfare of its pilgrims. The Commission would ascertain such claims and stipulate the right penalties for the defaulters as agreed in the contract award terms.”
The Commission Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan commended Nigerian intending pilgrims for their resilience and cooperation during airlift schedules without which the operation would not have been smooth.
He similarly lauded the States Pilgrims Welfare Boards/Agencies/Commissions for their promptness in responding to departure arrangements which so far has been orderly with minimal delays.
The NAHCON chairman extolled other stakeholders for playing their parts well for the smoothness recorded in the hajj operations.
He assured that Nigerian intending pilgrims’ satisfaction is paramount to the Commission at all times. He called on them again to remain in a state of readiness for their turn to be airlifted to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
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