Saturday, December 3, 2022

Hajj 2022: NAHCON meets Mu’assasa officials over poor feeding of Nigerian pilgrims, other setbacks

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has visited the Tawafah Company for Pilgrims of African Non-Arab Countries popularly known as the Mu’assasa, with a view to seeking explanations on the operation setbacks the commission encountered during this year’s Hajj exercise.

This is contained in a statement on Thursday by the NAHCOn spokesperson, Fatima Sanda-Usara.

According to the statement, the delegation, led by the NAHCON Chairman, Zikrullah Kunle-Hassan, met with the officials of the Mu’assasa to seek debriefing on the inability of some of the Private Tour Operators to secure accreditation, leading to the failure to airlift many intending pilgrims.

The statement noted that other crucial matters tabled before the Mu’assasa officials included the poor feeding arrangement during the pilgrims’ stay in Mina and Arafat as well as NAHCON’s request for a refund.

Responding, the Chairman of the Mu’assasa, Ahmad Sindi, explained that the issue of IBAN account was affected generally by lateness in this year’s Hajj announcement.

Mr Sindi added that issues relating to mismatch in the account numbers and account golders’ names, and inaccurate account numbers were also part of the reasons for the failure in the accreditation process.

The Mu’assasa chairman, however, assured that the monies are intact and would be returned to NAHCON’s account as soon as the company receives a formal request letter to that effect.

Regarding the Mina feeding arrangement, Mr Sindi disclosed that from next year, the company will work with only well-established caterers that have adequate manpower and sufficient facilities.

He added that they may even require bank guarantees before accepting any recommended caterer.

Also speaking, the Vice President of the Mu’assasa, Muhammad Burhan-Saifuddeen, gave a breakdown of the remaining amount yet to be credited to 33 Tour Operator companies.

Present at the meeting were Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa, Chairman Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs; Abubakar Nalaraba, Chairman House Committee on Pilgrimage; representatives of Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators in Nigeria, AHUON; representative of Nigeria’s Diplomatic Corps, representatives of Nigeria’s local and foreign media.

Others are NAHCON’s Commissioner PPMF, Nura Hassan Yakassai; Commissioner PRSLS, Suleiman Momoh; senior directors and some staff of the Commission essential to the assignment.

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