Head of NAHCON Reception Team in Madina, Alh Labaran Abdullahi speaks, in an interview with Journalists.


Head of NAHCON Reception Team in Madina, Alh Labaran Abdullahi speaks, in an interview with Journalists.

National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) says what it did differently in this year’s preparation that led to the recorded success which pilgrims are talking about is the implementation of the new dimension and approach on Hajj operations introduced by the new Chairman/CEO, Malam Jalal Ahmed Arabi.

The Head of NAHCON Reception Team in Madina, Alh Labaran Abdullahi disclosed this in a chat with journalists while receiving the 42nd flight from Lagos that arrived 429 pilgrims from Lagos and Osun on Sunday May 26th, 2024.

According to him,  some of those innovations introduced by the chairman are the orientation of the pilgrims, right from Nigeria and the encouragement he gave the staff of the commission in the discharge of their duties in accordance to the rules and regulation of the commission.

“He introduced 45 grouping where pilgrims from Nigeria will group themselves in a group of 45. This is done in collaboration with the Saudi government.

“They (the pilgrims) are to be transported in that group format upon arrival in the airport. This gives us a seamless work and easy movement of pilgrims.

“It doesn’t take us more than 45 minutes to clear about 500 pilgrims from the airport to their buses as you have just witnessed now upon the arrival of this Lagos and Osun pilgrims”, he said

Abdullahi also stated that the commission now has a better understanding of the operation and are enjoying a robust working relationship with the Saudi authority.

He however said the major challenges they are facing with the pilgrims is when a pilgrims is cleared in Nigerian airport, some of them will mistakenly put the passport into their hand luggages. Upon arrival in Saudi, luggages will be moved to the aircraft to the buses while he is still inside the airport waiting to be cleared for entry by the Saudi authority.

“So, it makes the pilgrims stay at the airport longer than necessary because we have to go back to the buses to identify the bag. At times the bag will have been moved to town. We have to go to town to get his bag and take the passport back to him at the airport for him to be cleared for entry.

“Some pilgrims will come with Kola nut despite Saudi government discouraging people coming with it.

“We have asked the State pilgrims Boards to continue to enlighten their pilgrims against this act of coming with Kola nut because that is part of what is delaying our operation. But, there is cooperation between us and the pilgrims.

Cross section of pilgrims spoken with, expressed satisfaction with the ongoing Hajj operation.

Abdulwasiu Adesina Abdulazeed, who spoke on behalf of the pilgrims from Lagos, thanked the government of Nigeria and NAHCON for the warm reception.

“NAHCON has been doing a very good job. The few minutes we landed and were cleared for entry , we saw NAHCON officials on ground that received us and ensured that all our luggages were transported with us to our hotel. The Lagos State pilgrims board are also doing very well”, he added.

17, 481 pilgrims have so far been airlifted for this year’s Hajj exercise in 42 flights, which began on the May 15th, 2024 from Kebbi State.

The airlift is expected to be completed by June 10th, 2024.


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