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OPINION

Hajj 2019: How NAHCON Has Fared So Far

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Few days to the commencement of this year’s  Hajj  exercise, it is imperative to examine the performance of the coordinating  body – National  Hajj  Commission of  Nigeria (NAHCON)  thus  far in some of  the  critical aspect of the 2019 Hajj  operations.

 

AIRLIFT

 

Since the Commission kicked started this year’s flight with the successful conduct of the inaugural flight at Umar Musa Yar ‘Adua International Airport, Katsina  on the 10thJuly, the Commission has left  no  one in doubt that it’s  prepared and committed to discharging one of its  onerous responsibilities  of having uninterrupted airlift of Nigerian pilgrims to  Saudi Arabia timely and promptly. In this connection, the approved carriers namely  Max Air  Medview and  Flynas  have been the keys to the success of the operation with the deployment of  arrays of their wide -bodied aircraft  to ferry pilgrims in their  numbers to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was not surprising that with about 20 days to the closure of  the  Saudi airspace, the three  “musketeers “ have jointly ferried over 10.000pilgrims to either  Jeddah  or  Medina in such a little space of time. One can succinctly describe the performance and act of the airlines as “Bad  Boy, Gone  Good “.

 

ACCOMODATION

 

If the reports and assessment of  the pilgrims, state officials and  the neutrals are anything to  go by  then the Commission deserves or can be  rated  excellent in the area of housing provided to the pilgrims in  Medina especially, where the Commission holds the ace.

The serene, and hospitable accommodation in  notable and famous 5-star  hotels in the sanctuary  City has been the best thing to have happened to the country’s contingents in recent decade  which has drawn envy from the otherwise famous Hajj  countries of the world.

 

Here the pilgrims literally experience  the world of  glamour  and opulence many  had never come across  in terms of  modern facilities.

 

Indeed, so  far  all  Nigerian pilgrims are being accommodated  in   5-star hotels in  the  exclusive  Markaziyah  Area  of  Madina.

 

FEEDING

 

NAHCON has focused on  delivery of standard  feeding arrangement for the pilgrims. Despite the difficulty  involved in  feeding  of  multitude, the  Commission  has done tremendously well in providing both continental and  local dishes  to the pilgrims with the staff of the Commission monitoring and supervising feeding arrangement from the preparatory  stage  up to the final consumption. No wonder, many of the pilgrims were reluctant to leave  Madina due to the services being enjoyed. .

 

STAFF /STATE OFFICIALS

 

In fact, one of the keys to the outstanding  success recorded so  far in the life of Hajj 2019 is  the  commitment of the staff  in the various aspect of   the operations. The officials  have been channelling their passion for the operation by ensuring that pilgrims get the right attention, information and services. Aside  this  time  the synergy and chemistry  between NAHCON and state officials. Unlike previously  most of the airlifted pilgrims are accompanied by  officials  right from the  first flight  to the last one.

 

Though  there is still a lot of business  to be done  if  the  objective of Hajj Mabrur  is to be achieved, but thus  far, the commission can roll out the cymbals and like Agama  lizard nod it’s head in praise even if no one will do  so.

 

 

– Ubandawaki is of the Information and  Publication  unit  of  NAHCON

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