The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON says the number of Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia for the 2019 Hajj exercise rose to 36,199 in 74 flights by Friday.
NAHCON began its inaugural flight from Katsina on July 10.
According to the Commission, the latest was MaxAir NGL3051 plane which departed Minna, Niger to Madinah with 549 pilgrims, comprising 302 males, 247 females and 11 officials.
Nigerian pilgrims continued to troop from Madinah to Makkah with the number totalling 25,000 as at Friday.
NAHCON’s representative in Saudi Arabia, Dr Tanko Aliyu, said that 150 hotels have been secured to accommodate the pilgrims in Makkah.
In another development, NAHCON has commended the National Media Team, NMT “for the zeal and dedication in reporting 2019 Hajj in Saudi Arabia.”
Hajia Fatima Mustapha, Assistant Director, NAHCON Information and Publications, gave the commendation in a statement on Saturday.
She also thanked the journalists for their “patience and understanding.”
“We congratulate all members that arrived Saudi Arabia safely. I pray we continue to work together as a knitted team to achieve the goals of our assignment, NAHCON appreciate you all,” she said.
One of the journalists covering the Hajj in Makkah, who preferred anonymity, described his experience in the coverage of the exercise, as a great and enriching one.
“It has always been my life ambition to perform hajj at least once in my life. Covering this assignment has given me that opportunity to fulfill this noble ambition,” he said.