Ganiat Balogun, Saudi Arabia
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has expressed their regrets over the troubles experienced by intending pilgrims for this year’s Hajj.
This was contained in a statement issued by Hajia Fatima Usara, Assistant Director, Public Affairs, NAHCON. She said “the commission owes deep and unreserved regrets to entire intending pilgrims to 2022 Hajj for the hardships and disappointments experienced during outbound airlift operations to the holy land.”
“The Commission offers similar apologies to the Federal Government of Nigeria, State Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards, Private Tour Operators, and the general public for any embarrassment the situation of the past few weeks might have caused.”
“Sadly, despite all efforts to airlift all Nigerian intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the 2022 Hajj, NAHCON was incapacitated in discharging this responsibility fully, majorly due to last minute setbacks that frustrated its plan to conclude airlift of pilgrims by 27th June of this year. Unfortunately, the chartered flights option that gave so much hope to NAHCON and the Private Tour Operators’ leadership also became a failure as their IBAN accounts failed accreditation by the respective authorities in Saudi Arabia.”
“Specifically, the following numbers of affected pilgrims would not make it to Saudi Arabia before closure of Jeddah airport, hence they are sadly bound to miss this year’s Hajj. They are: Nine (9) pilgrims from Bauchi state; 91 pilgrims from Plateau state; 700 pilgrims from Kano state and an estimated 750 pilgrims from the Private Tour Operators sector.’
The Commission gives assurance that all affected pilgrims will be refunded their Hajj fares while it will work towards improving its deficiencies against next time. NAHCON has learnt a lot of lessons and is determined not to have a repetition of the unfortunate situation. Management knows that no number of apologies could pay for the disappointments some Muslim faithfuls are currently experiencing as a result.