The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has threatened to penalise any caterer who violate its pilgrims’ feeding arrangements during the ongoing 2023 Hajj rituals in Saudi Arabia.
The commission’s head of the feeding committee in Madinah and assistant director, Hajiya Bilqis Umar Awah, reads the riot acts to all NAHCON’s engaged food providers after inspecting the kitchen of one of the caterers alongside with journalists in Madinah.
She enjoined all the caterers to adhere strictly to the menu and timetable on the terms of contracts, insisting that the commission would not allow anyone to shortchange Nigerian pilgrims.
According to her, the two of the caterers have already faced severe sanctions for performing below expectations. “We deployed our members to monitor caterers in each hotel that Nigerian pilgrims are accommodated. The responsibilities of the committee is to supervise the caterers and ensure that the quantity and quality of the meals are not compromised.
“We have 10 approved caterers to provide food to our pilgrims, but we discovered that only six were capable for the job and they all started very well.
”Unfortunately two of them started disappointing us by bringing food late to the pilgrims and we didn’t take that likely with them. One was sanctioned by stopping the company from supplying food, while the second one had her food declared ‘fisabilillah’,” Awah said.
She insisted that the Commission has made adequate provisions for the nourishment of all 95,000 Nigerian pilgrims expected to perform this Hajj in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Recall that while NAHCON is responsible for providing accommodation and feeding to pilgrims in Madinah, the States’ Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards and agencies take charge of such services in Makkah.