The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has enlisted the support of the media in achieving success during the 2017 Hajj exercise.
The Chairman/CEO, Barr. Abdullahi Mukthar Muhammad, MON, FCIA, made the request on Monday during a courtesy visit to the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and Voice of Nigeria (VON) corporate headquarters in Abuja.
Barr. Abdullahi stated that the on-going reforms embarked on by the Commission need the support and assistance of the media to make it succeed.
According to him, the role of the media cannot be over-emphasized especially in the area of pilgrims education and enlightenment.
He further disclosed that the Commission would not only strive to ensure pilgrims have full value for their money through improved service delivery but also halt capital flight. He pointed out that the direct contract negotiation with landlords has saved Nigeria exportation of about 12.3m dollars, which meant that pilgrims for this year’s Hajj are expected to pay SR616 (equivalent of 164 dollars) less than last year for accommodation in Madina due to the elimination of proxis or agents.
In addition, he said that there would no longer be uniform Hajj fare in the states as according to him, Hajj fare will henceforth be determined by the quality of service provided by each state, location and quality of the accommodation.
The NAHCON boss commended the armed forces for being a leading light in securing the right price for its accommodation in Makkah in which they were able to reduce the price and therefore, enjoined other State pilgrims Welfare Boards to take a cue from their counterpart by ensuring beneficial negotiation with accommodation providers in Makkah which ultimately will remove state government argumentation of pilgrims accommodation in Makkah.
Barr. Abdullahi, however commended the management of the two organization for the positive reportage of Hajj activities and urged them to continue in the same stead.
In their separate responses, the Directors-General of VON, Dr. Osita Okechukwu commended the Commission for the tremendous improvements it has brought to Hajj affairs and management in the country. In his words, “We congratulate NAHCON for the patriotic step it has taken to save money for Nigeria and Nigerians. This is a positive development that is in line with the Federal Government change agenda to reduce capital flight and boost the nation’s economy.” On our side, we will do all we can to ensure that your messages get across to Nigerians. It is part of our mandate.”
In his welcome address, the DG NTA, Alh. Yakubu Ibn Muhammed said NAHCON has made unprecedented leap in Hajj management and service delivery to the Nigeria pilgrims. “in the last decade you have charted and undertook far-reaching reforms which has rubbed positively on the nation’s image.
He expressed his organisation’s willingness to work with NAHCON to expand their strong partnership and pledged to continue their close cooperation in the area of the pilgrims education, orientation and enlightenment.
The NAHCON team led by the Chairman/CEO was accompanied by Commissioner Operations, Abdullahi Modibbo Saleh, Secretary to the Commission, Dr. B.M. Tambuwal and other senior management staff on the visit.