• Approach programme with open mind, willingness to learn: Rector
• NAHCON chief seeks improved synergy with state Hajj officials
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON’s) Hajj Institute of Nigeria (HIN) has admitted 53 students for the second stream of the professional certificate programme in strategic management of Hajj and Umrah operations.
The opening ceremony, held on Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at Hajj House Conference Hall, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, was declared open by the Commission’s Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Barrister Zikrullah Kunle Hassan.
Muslim News gathered that the commencement of the second phase of the certificate programme was coming barely seven months after the graduation of 18 pioneer students who went through the four-week course.
“It gives me great pleasure to address you at this communal location today. Allah (SWT) in his infinite mercy has spared our lives together so that we can move the Hajj industry in Nigeria significantly,” said the NAHCON Chairman.
“I am an alumnus and my colleagues as pioneer students of the Hajj Institute of Nigeria, congratulate you as you’re enrolled into the second stream of the professional certificate course in strategic management of Hajj and Umrah operation,” he added.
The Chairman, while speaking at the event, revealed that 53 students were admitted for the second stream, saying, “45 students are directorate staff of the commission while 8 are distinguished chairman/executive Secretary of some state Muslim pilgrims welfare board.
Zikrullah Hassan disclosed the total number of alumni of the institute would increase to 71 at the end of the second stream programme which is expected to last for four-week (three weeks for virtual and one week physical presence).
“53 of you added to 18 of us that participated in the first stream and when you graduate the alumni base would rise to 71,” he noted.
He said, “This, to me, is encouraging for an institute that commenced operation 7 months ago. As the saying goes, in a journey, you start with a single step. Indeed, most of you participated in serving the guests of Allah in the 2023 Hajj exercise. You’re, therefore, required to make the class as interactive as possible, sharing your experiences and debating heavily on areas where successes were recorded and others that require urgent improvements are needed in the areas of deployment and effective use of human and material resources.”
The NAHCON Chairman described Hajj as an industry that doesn’t need marketing, stressing.
He said, “It invites all strata of ages. It is an industry that should be everlasting as long as humans are on earth. That’s why the need to continue to engage in learning about how to move the industry forward can’t be over-emphasized.”
Zikrullah Hassan further noted that the programme was designed to encourage team synergy, work attitude, proficiency in the Arabic language, timeline, and use of modern technology, among the official of the commission and state pilgrims welfare board, towards a successful Hajj and Umrah exercises.
“We can hardly deny the critical role that teams play in public service. And the use of teams can be regarded as one of the most significant characteristics of organisational life in the 21st century. People share a common direction in the sense of community, and with that, they can go quicker and easier because they are travelling on the strength of one another.
Most reports from the 2023 Hajj exercises pointed to poor teamwork and the absence of synergy between teams. Both NAHCON teams and those from the states largely function in saddles with little or no synergy between them. With all the team working towards the same objective but approaching the assignment in different ways. Good results can hardly be the outcome of such situations.”
Also speaking at the event, the Rector of the Institute, Professor Mohammed Nasirudeen Maiturare said the programme represents a significant milestone in the commitment to excellence in education, saying that the course has been meticulously designed to provide the students with the knowledge, skills, and insights necessary to excel in the complex and critical field of Hajj operations.
According to him, “As we all know, the Hajj pilgrimage is a deeply spiritual journey for millions of Muslims and Nigerian pilgrims constitute a significant portion of that population. Thus, ensuring its smooth execution is a responsibility that requires the highest level of strategic planning, management, coordination and a deep sense of responsibility.
The Rector, therefore, encouraged students to approach the programme with an open mind and a willingness to learn as they embark on this educational journey together.
“Our esteemed lecturers have poured
their expertise and dedication to crafting a curriculum that will challenge you, inspire and equip you with the tools needed to navigate the intricacies of Hajj operations management.
“Furthermore, I implore you to engage actively with your fellow participants. The diversity of experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds in this room is a valuable resource that will
enrich your learning journey. Through collaborative efforts, we can harness the collective wisdom of this group and foster an environment of mutual growth and understanding.”
Prof Maiturare disclosed that the students will delve into topics ranging from leadership to crisis management, from logistical planning to team building and information management, adding that, “Each lesson is carefully designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted nature of managing Hajj operations.
“I do not doubt that, armed with the knowledge and skills you will acquire in this course, you will emerge as leaders capable of not only meeting the challenges of Hajj operations but also elevating them to new heights of efficiency, safety, and spiritual significance,” he added.
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