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NAHCON felicitates with Nigerian Muslims on Eid-el-Fitr

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has facilitated with Muslim Ummah in the country on Eid-el-Fitr.
NAHCON Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, said this on Friday in a Sallah message in Abuja on Friday.
Hassan prayed that almighty Allah accept the fasting of the Ummah as an act of worship.
”On behalf of board members, management and entire staff of NAHCON, I sincerely congratulate the Muslim community all over the world for this day.
”It is our prayer and hope that we indeed are among those who have reaped from the abundant benefits of this glorious month.
”Eid-el Fitr is not just a time for celebration; it is a period that calls for renewed vigour towards sustaining the virtues of Ramadan.
”The lessons of Ramadan encourage Muslims to watch over the less privileged, be constant in prayer, ponder over the verses of the Holy Book of guidance: Al-Qur’an, shun immoralities, and to persist in many other acts of kindness,’’ he said.
Hassan prayed to almighty Allah to guide Muslim faithful to continue on the noble path.
”Eid-el Fitr 2020 is coming with a difference under the global threat of COVID-19.
”I reiterate my earlier calls to all Muslims to respect Federal Government’s restriction on congregational worship.
”Certainly, respect to constituted authority is respect to The Creator,” he said.
Hassan added that the restrictions of movement occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and other preventive measures were for the general good of humanity.
COVID-19 pandemic has changed global calculations on matters of engagement, creating numerous uncertainties.
”This uncertainty hovers over possibility of Hajj 2020 taking place as well.
”I commend the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its huge investment in tackling the spread of the pandemic in the holy land, which will be of benefit to the Muslim Ummah.
”I once again reassure our teeming 2020 Hajj hopefuls from Nigeria that once Saudi Arabia makes clear its decision on the Hajj, NAHCON shall reveal the plans it has designed for either of the eventualities,” he said.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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NAHCON pledges support for licenced tour operators on COVID-19 

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has assured Hajj and Umrah Operators in Nigeria of its support towards cushioning the effect of coronavirus lockdown.
NAHCON Chairman, Mr Zikhrullah Hassan, gave the assurance while receiving executive members of Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria (AHUON) who paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.
This was contained in a statement by Mr Mousa Ubandawaki, of the Information Unit of the commission in Abuja on Thursday.
Hassan said that the commission was not unaware of the economic challenges being faced by the industry due to the lockdown.
He expressed the commission’s readiness to support the licensed tour operators towards reducing losses occasioned by the cancellation of 2020 lesser Hajj by Saudi Arabian authorities.
Hassan urged members of the association to exercise patience as measures will be put in place to support them and thanked the association for its continued support and trust.
He also reiterated his commitment towards partnership with the association to uplift Hajj and Umrah service in Nigeria.
AHUON Acting President Alhaji Saliu Butu, said the essence of the visit was to express their support for the commission and to solicit for assistance in the area of boosting their revenue profile in the face of COVID-19 pandemic.
Butu said members of the association were on the verge of bankruptcy as some payments made to service providers for 2020 Umrah have not been refunded.
” Only the Visa fee and Insurance charges had been refunded by the Saudi Government while other payments like air tickets, hotel service, transportation and other handling charges were still being awaited from the service providers, ” he said.
Butu urged the commission to assist by releasing the ₦5million annual refund fee paid by each company.
He also urged NAHCON to intervene by securing the Federal Government financial palliative for the association through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as well as defer the validity of 2020 Umrah license till 2021 so as to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic..

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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NAHCON chairman meets Buhari on 2020 pilgrimage, fares reduction

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday met with the newly appointed Chairman and board members of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) at the State House, Abuja.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, the chairman of NAHCON, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, said they were in the State House to brief the president on the plans and activities of the commission with respect to the forthcoming 2020 pilgrimage.

He also revealed that they used the opportunity of the meeting to thank the president for approving their appointments as members of the board.

According to him, the commission has so far succeeded in reducing the Hajj fares including the cost of accommodation and ticket of airlines.

“We came to meet Mr President to show our appreciation for his kind approval of our appointment into the board of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).

“We also came here to brief him about the plans and activities for this year’s Hajj.

“In line with the President’s mission, we have succeeded in the pursuit of reduction of certain items in the cost of Hajj without reduction in the quality.

“We have succeeded in reducing, for certain percentages, the cost of accommodation in Makkah and the ticket of airlines.

“We have effected some reductions. In line with all these, we are expecting to make some percentage reduction in the cost of Hajj fares this year as against last year. We are still working on all processes,’’ he added.

The chairman, however, noted that the Saudi Arabian Government had increased some of the cost of its services to increase quality of such services.

He said: “We realize that in the determination to also increase some quality of services, the Saudi government has increased some of the cost.

“But we have succeeded in devising measures to militate against this increase as well as to make certain reduction in some of this cost.

“We are expecting some percentage decrease in the cost of Hajj this year from that of last year.

“We also intimated the President about some of other plans which are still in process stage. At the appropriate time, we will certainly inform the press.’’

On whether COVID-19 pandemic would affect 2020 pilgrimage, the NAHCON boss said the commission would abide by the Federal Government position on the matter.

“As people of faith, we are always optimistic but we are not reckless. I can assure you that we are in tandem with the Federal Ministry of Health to actualize the Federal Government position on the matter.

“We have a member on the board that is with the Federal Ministry of Health. On daily basis, we interface to know the exact position.

“I can assure you, we are not going against any of federal government’s directives to ensure that Nigerians, either within or outside the country, are healthy and safe. So, we won’t be reckless.

“By Allah’s will, this year’s Hajj will come to be,’’ he said.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
(NAN)

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NAHCON boss mourns Kaduna Pilgrims Chairman

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The Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan has commiserated with the Government of Kaduna State over the death of the State Chairman of Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board late Sani Dalhatu.

Dalhatu died as a result of a ghastly motor accident along Abuja-Kaduna highway.

A statement made available to newsmen on Friday by NAHCON’s information officer Fatima Mustapha, said Hassan spoke when he paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased in Kaduna.

“The death of Dalhatu is a great loss not only to Kaduna state, it is a great loss to the entire Muslim ummah’’, he said.

He described the deceased as a man of honour who was instrumental in the commission’s efforts to ensure affordable Hajj for Kaduna Pilgrims.

“His death has left a big vacuum that would be difficult to fill’’, he added.

The NAHCON boss prayed to Almighty Allah to forgive the decreased shortcomings and grant him aljannatul firdaus.

The deceased is survived by two wives and children .

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Maharazu Ahmed
(NAN)

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Lesser Hajj: NAHCON urges pilgrims to contact their tour operators for refund

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), has urged pilgrims who paid for lesser Hajj to contact their tour operators for refund following its suspension by Saudi Arabian authorities due to coronavirus.

NAHCON Head of Public Affairs, Mrs Fatima Usara said this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

Usara urged those who paid for the lesser Hajj through Licensed Tour Operators to keep in touch with them for collection of their money when eventually released by Saudi Arabia.

She also advised pilgrims, who encountered challenges in the process of collecting their refund to lodge complaints with the commission.

Usara said they can lodge their complaints through the commission’s Head of Inspectorate and Compliance on this number (Phone/Email) as well as Visa and Consular Section on (Phone/Email) .

“All claims must be accompanied with valid documents and evidence of transaction with the registered operator,” she said.

Usara said that the announcement followed a circular by Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah informing Muslim faithful of its resolve to refund lesser Hajj visa fees and other service charges to pilgrims.

“This is sequel to suspension of lesser Hajj activities by the Kingdom’s authorities as a measure towards halting the spread of COVID-19 infection.

“An electronic method for refunding lesser Hajj visa applicants through their local agents has been prepared for payments,” she said.

Usara, therefore, urged those with legitimate claim to contact their travel agents for retrieval of their dues.

She said that the commission had always cautioned pilgrims for lesser Hajj to deal directly with tour operators who were duly registered with the commission.

According to her, that would assist the commission to recover Pilgrims’ funds in case of breach of contract or any situation that might warrant recovery of funds.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

 

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Umrah Suspension: NAHCON urges stakeholders to comply with Saudi Arabia directives

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has urged intending pilgrims from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia for Umrah or to visit the Prophet’s mosque in Madinah to comply with the recent Suspension of lesser Hajj by Saudi Arabia following outbreak of coronavirus in other parts of the world.

Fatima Usara, head of Public Affairs, NAHCON in a statement in Abuja said:”the call became necessary following the temporary suspension of Umrah by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19 new coronavirus infection.

”It has spread to about 48 countries globally with a record of over 82,164 confirmed cases as at Feb. 27.

” The COVID-19 has recorded many fatalities that has forced some countries with confirmed cases to close down schools and other social gatherings.

”The commission commends  the courageous step taking by Saudi Arabia and affirms its commitment and cooperation in the interest of world Muslims and humanity.

”The measure was taken in accordance with approved international standards towards curtailing spread of the disease.

” Consequently, NAHCON cautions Nigerian pilgrims for Umrah to note that this suspension is effective on those who have already been issued travel visas and about to embark on the journey as well as for those planning to do so in the nearest future” she said .

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza

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NAHCON inaugurates team for 2020 Hajj Operations

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Wednesday inaugurated a team consisting of its staff to facilitate the smooth operation of the 2020 hajj.

 

A statement made available to newsmen by head of Public affairs, NAHCON, Fatima Usara, said the team include those that would be charged with the responsibility of feeding of pilgrims, accommodations and aviation.

 

Other members of the team include: monitoring and evaluation, Inspectorate and Compliance, Legal as well as Account.

 

Inaugurating the committees, the Chairman of the Commission Zikrullah Hassan, urged members of the team to exhibit high sense of commitment and dedication in discharging their assignment.

 

Hassan also called on members to examine all prospects with a view to ensure reduction of hajj fare in the 2020 exercise.

 

He expressed his administration’s determination to reduce hajj fare for future exercise.

 

According to him, their dedication to the task is essential to addressing the issue of reduction in hajj fare.

 

He called on the members to carry out the assignment without compromising quality or standard of accommodation and feeding.

 

Also speaking, the Commissioner, Operations, Mr Abdullahi Magari Hardawa, assured the chairman of their commitment toward meeting expectations of the commission by ensuring that Hajj fare was reduced.

 

Hardawa also urged members of the pre-Hajj team to make good bargaining that would enable pilgrims embark on Hajj with relative ease and get value for their money.

 

The team would be led by NAHCON chairman and other staff from relevant departments.

 

The team is expected to inspect locations of Nigerian clinics to ascertain the conditions set by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for setting up clinics by participating countries.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Felix Ajide

 

 

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New NAHCON chairman pledges to improve Hajj administration in Nigeria

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The new Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Mr Zhikirullah Hassan, has pledged to improve Nigeria’s Hajj administration to meet global standard.

Hassan made the pledge shortly after he took over the mantle of leadership of the commission on Thursday in Abuja.

” Today, I stand before you to make a solemn pledge to continue the never ending journey to improve, elevate and uplift hajj administration in Nigeria.

” We resolved to continue the journey to make NAHCON a global brand and the journey will not be complete until we find a better way that our pilgrims must not have to wait and spend longer days in Saudi Arabia or boarding the aircraft,” he said.

Hassan pledged to ensure training and welfare of staff to achieve efficiency in service delivery to meet up with target.

” I want to pledge our commitment to your welfare by giving your rights and privileges without discrimination or bias.

” We intend to pursue the upscale capacity building through training and retraining of every category of staff to the new trends and development in hajj training institutes,” he said

Hassan expressed confidence that the commission would achieve the desired goal through hard work, determination and dedication.

He expressed the need to diversify and create means of generating revenue for the commission with a view to further enhance its operations and reduce the cost of Hajj to Nigerian pilgrims.

In his farewell speech, former chairman of NAHCON, Mr Abdullahi Muhammad, thanked the Federal Government for giving him conducive atmosphere to operate.

Muhammad, however, advised the new chairman to be wary of saboteurs who always pursued their personal interest against the interest of Nigeria.

He prayed to God to grant the new management board wisdom to succeed in the task of delivering efficient and effective Hajj administration in Nigeria.

The outgoing chairman also used the occasion to hand over some documents of executed and ongoing projects embarked upon by the commission.

He expressed confidence in the ability of the incoming board members to achieve the desired objectives of the commission.

Edited By: Razak Owolabi/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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NAHCON generates N2bn from Hajj Development Levy

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), says it generated N2 billion from the Hajj Development Levy. Fatima Usara, Head, Public Affairs, NAHCON, stated this in a statement in Abuja.

Usara said that NAHCON acting Commissioner, Operations, Mr Modibbo Saleh, announced the amount during the foundation laying ceremony of the Pilgrims Hotel in Kaduna.

She said the commission had spent part of the fund on various projects for the benefit of the Nigerian pilgrims.

”More than N2 billion was generated from the Hajj Development Levy and various projects have been executed from the amount.

”All State Pilgrims Welfare Boards and Agencies will benefit from the funds no matter how little their contributions are,” she said.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the commission is constructing a pilgrims’ hotel facility and a multi-purpose centre in Kaduna State Hajj Camp.

The project is being executed through the Hajj Development Levy projects nationwide. .

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni and Ephraims Sheyin

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2020: NAHCON pledges hitch-free hajj, accessible accommodation for pilgrims

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has pledged to ensure hitch-free hajj in 2020, with pilgrims’ accommodations not situated more than two kilometres away from the Holy Mosque in Makkah, Saudi  Arabia.

 

The commission, however, said that shuttle buses must be provided to transport pilgrims, if their accommodation are situated more than two kilometres.

 

Fatima Usara, Head of Public Affairs of NAHCON, said this on Monday in an interview with Nigerian News Agency in Abuja.

 

Usara said the move was aimed at reducing the stress pilgrims at the holy mosque usually go through.

 

She said that the commission has already instructed state pilgrims welfare boards not to book accommodation situated more than two kilometres to the Holy Mosque in Makkah.

 

”It has been the tradition that houses reserved for pilgrims should not be more than two kilometres away from the holy Mosque in Makkah.

 

”NAHCON always go round to supervise all the accommodations booked by the State Hajj officials to ensure that the building is in good condition, toilets are clean, the hotel elevators are working.

 

”We only supervise to ensure that pilgrims are not shortchanged,” she said.

 

The official said the commission had directed state pilgrims welfare boards to commence the process of collecting hajj fare from intending pilgrims wishing to perform the 2020 hajj.

Edited by: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Felix Ajide

 

 

 

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