February 3, 2023

This year, despite having made full payment and fulfilling all conditions, around 3,000 prospective Nigerian pilgrims were unable to travel to Saudi Arabia due to problems involving limited flights and issues with travel agencies. Thousands of Muslims in Kano also failed to participate in the Hajj exercise due to flight issues, while some others experienced the cancellation of their Hajj visa. 

To prevent similar problems from happening next year, a Zoom conference between the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah (MOHU) is planned for December 21, 2022. The purpose of the conference is to prepare the things needed for the Hajj 2023 and to lay the groundwork for the two nations to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). 

In a press release made available to LEADERSHIP, Hajia Fatima Sanda Usara, assistant director of public affairs of NAHCON, outlined various problems to be addressed at the meeting, including figuring out the cost of Hajj 2023 services, including cheap flights, accommodation, and particularly the cost of the Masha’ir packages. 

NAHCON also intended to reaffirm its goal for the standard of Masha’ir facilities to match the worth of the fees that would be levied during the Hajj in 2023. A demand for developments on the Makkah Route initiative project and the Commission’s strategy for transportation services in the Kingdom during the Hajj are both high priorities. The scheme is a set-up that gives prospective pilgrims a long-term contribution opportunity to contribute to the Hajj progressively over a certain time. With the possibility of facilitating prospective Hajj assistance, this approach may encourage early Hajj planning.

A demand by NAHCON for the MOHU to assist with the Mutawif Company for African Non-Arab Countries to issue pending reimbursements of certain services that are paid for but not given or badly delivered during the 2022 Hajj practice will also be on the meeting’s agenda. State Pilgrims’ Welfare Board that have not yet requested their pilgrims’ refunds have been encouraged to do so by NAHCON’s Finance and Accounts Division. The Commission’s determination to address all outstanding 2022 Hajj concerns in order to prevent hindrance while making preparations for the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage led to the need for the call.

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