The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) said it has concluded plan to refund N1.7 billion to Nigerian pilgrims who participated in the last hajj exercise through states Pilgrims Welfare Boards.
The chairman of the commission, Alhaji Abdullahi Muktar Muhammed said the fund is for services not rendered to the pilgrims.
“After last year’s exercise, the account department of the commission carried out a very thorough reconciliation with all our service providers, both in Nigeria and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and were able to come up with a substantial amount of funds that will be refunded to all the State Pilgrims’ Welfare Board for the pilgrims.
“This amount is to the tone of N1.7billion, which is substantial enough for the commission to really set up machinery and mechanism to create awareness for the members of the public who participated in last year’s hajj, so that they can approach their respective state Pilgrims Welfare Board for the refunds,” he said.
He added that the commission will also monitor the refund process to ensure transparency.
The hajj commission has opened applications and screening of air carriers for the 2016 pilgrimage.
Inaugurating the screening committee before the commencement of the screening exercise in Abuja, Muhammed said nine companies applied for the airlift of pilgrims while four applied for the airfreight of pilgrims’ excess luggage for 2016 hajj.
He said the essence of the yearly screening of airline operators is to ensure transparency and make sure the airliners are in compliance with the rules and regulations of aviation industry.
“The essence of the screening is to ensure transparency and make sure that all the applicants are in compliance with the rules and regulation governing aviation industry in Nigeria as well as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. And more importantly is to ensure improved and better service delivery for the pilgrims, who paid their hajj and air fare.”