The President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan and Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Tuesday,commended the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, for the downward review of 2019 Hajj fare.

DAILY NIGERIAN recall that NAHCON had on Saturday announced a reduction of 620 Saudi Riyals (N51, 170.45) on this year’s Hajj fare.

The leadership of the National Assembly expressed their delight during the 2019 Hajj stakeholders’ meeting and award presentation in Abuja.

Represented by Senator Aliyu Sabi, Niger North, Mr Lawal said the reduction of the Hajj fare will endear Nigerian pilgrims to the government and the commission.

He, therefore, called on NAHCON to ensure that adequate arrangements are put in place for the pilgrims in the Holy Land.

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“Hajj stakeholders, such as selected airlines and other service providers must ensure that efficient services are rendered to the pilgrims,” Mr Lawan assured.

The senate president admonished Nigerian pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the country while in Saudi Arabia.

He also appealed to them to use the Hajj exercise to pray for the unity, peace and prosperity of the country.

On his part, Speaker Gbajabiamila, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Sanusi Garba-Rikiji, also expressed his delight over the reduction in fare and extension of registration date.

Earlier, in his address, the Chairman NAHCON, Abdullahi Mukhtar said this year’s Hajj is coming with its own peculiarities.

According to him, unlike in previous exercises, visa procurement for the 2019 Hajj is IT based.

“Individual states and tour operators are now responsible for processing their own visas online.

“This gives no room for changes, corrections and substitutions,” the chairman said.

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He added that for each Visa processed, payment is generated electronically and the account of NAHCON is debited.

Mr Muktar urged all officials, particularly the Ulama, to continue their task of educating and orientating the pilgrims.

“It makes no point for one to spend N1.4 million and not know how to perform Hajj,” he said.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that at the end of the ing, awards were presented to various states’ pilgrim boards, Tour Operators and the Media for their outstanding performances towards the success of the 2018 Hajj operations.

Accordingly, the FCT, Kaduna pilgrim boards bagged awards as the first and second best states respectively during the 2018 Hajj exercise.

The Kogi State Pilgrims Board also bagged an award as the most innovative during the year’s exercise.