The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, have finalised arrangements to kick off biometric capturing of the 2019 intending pilgrims soon.
The Head, Public Affairs Division of NAHCON, Fatima Usara, made the disclosure in a statement on Thursday night in Abuja.
Mrs Usara said the decision to commence the exercise was reached after a special meeting convened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the Amb. of Saudi Arabia to Nigeria, Adnan bin Mahmoud Bostaji and NAHCON, led by its Chairman, Abdullahi Muhammad.
She said the meeting discussed ways of ensuring a hitch-free biometric capturing exercise for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrims in view of the readiness of both NAHCON and the Saudi Missions in Nigeria to start the exercise early to avoid last minute rush.
Mrs Usara said parties in the meeting assured that they had finalised all arrangements relating to Nigerian intending pilgrims’ registration for the year 2019 Hajj.
She said: “They have as well provided all the necessary support to enable securing of visas within the approved time-frame.
“The Saudi Embassy in Abuja and Consulate-General in Kano along with Nigerian Hajj Commission agreed to deploy all within their means to achieve success of the arrangements.
“NAHCON, therefore, calls on all intending pilgrims who have paid for the exercise under any state of the federation, to ensure that they conclude all required administrative documentations within the specified time; including biometrics capturing.”
She said the leadership of NAHCON commended the dedication of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for constantly and efficiently improving services to pilgrims.
This, she said was evident from the Kingdom’s heavy investment in Hajj infrastructural development as well as the yearly upgrade of all Hajj and Umrah related processes in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
Mrs Usara said that Bostaji assured the meeting that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would deploy all it could to make the Hajj and Umrah easy for pilgrims, having considered it a privilege and honour to host guests of the Almighty.