Hajj Commission seeks better service delivery from Saudi Arabia on 2024 pilgrimage

Hajj Commission seeks better service delivery from Saudi Arabia on 2024 pilgrimage

The acting chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi, has appealed to the Saudi Arabian service provider, the Mutawiff of African non-Arab countries, to enhance services for Nigerian pilgrims in the 2024 Masha’ir.

Speaking during a meeting with the chairman of the establishment, Dr. Ahmad Abbas Sindi, on Monday in Abuja, Arabi stressed the importance of a collaborative effort to find solutions to the issues encountered during the 2023 Hajj.

The meeting, attended by some secretaries of state pilgrims welfare boards, executives and members of the Association of Hajj and Umrah operators of Nigeria, AHUON, reportedly addressed concerns regarding services in Masha’ir during the 2023 Hajj and outlined plans for the 2024 Hajj, particularly in the areas of feeding, transportation, space allocation, security, and refunds, among others.

The chairman, according to a statement signed by the commission’s Deputy Director of Information and Publications, Alhaji Mousa Ubandawaki, emphasized that the purpose of the interface was to pave the way for a new approach that would effectively address the problems faced during the 2023 Hajj.

“As partners, we are here to discuss, collaborate, engage, and interact, with the aim of nurturing this partnership. The 2023 Hajj has gone, and the 2024 Hajj is approaching. Therefore, it is essential to address all details and ensure a smoother experience than what was achieved in the past,” Arabi stated.

In response, the chairman of Mutawif assured of a revamped Hajj experience for Nigerian pilgrims in the upcoming 2024 Hajj.

Sindi stated that efforts and commitments have been made to improve service delivery in Mina and Arafat, citing changes in manpower, systems, and control of the Arafat project.

He also highlighted plans to enhance toilet facilities and their distribution. In terms of catering, a new policy is to be implemented to ensure Nigerian pilgrims are served promptly and with a Nigerian menu.

“We have engaged vendors to source produce from Nigeria and hired Nigerian cooks to ensure that meals served during the Masha’ir align with Nigerian tastes,” he added.

“We are fully committed to implementing these improvements and ensuring efficient food delivery from the kitchen to the tents. We promise a remarkable Hajj in 2024, Insha Allah,” he stressed.

Regarding transportation, he pointed out that arrangements have been made to increase the frequency of shuttle buses between Mina, Muzdalifa, Arafat, and Makkah to address previous transportation issues.

The chairman assured that the bus services would operate 24 hours to accommodate pilgrims.

He further stated that despite the investments and financial commitments to modernize and improve services, pilgrims and Hajj missions will not bear additional financial burdens.

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