His Eminence, The Sultan Of Sokoto, and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III (CFR, mni,) on the 24th February 2021 paid a historic courtesy visit to the NAHCON headquarters in Abuja. The visit coincides with the board’s first year in office.
As part of the activities to mark the occasion, the special guest laid foundation for the construction of a Juma’at mosque on the premises of the commission’s headquarters. He equally inspected the soon to be commissioned NAHCON Digital Economy Centre.
In his address to executive members of the commission, board, management and staff, His Eminence, the Sultan described the visit as a special day to him being the first time he is visiting the magnificent edifice and to meet and interact with senior and junior staff and management of NAHCON under one roof. He commended the Chief Executive for assembling all members of staff for the meeting irrespective of their position in the organization.
Recounting the rigors they went through in ensuring the formation of a Hajj Commission in Nigeria, the Sultan commended the three preceding boards for laying a solid foundation for the development of the Hajj institution in Nigeria from inception to date. He lauded the 3rdNAHCON board under Barr Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad for purchasing this edifice. He expressed confidence that the current board will build on those achievements of his predecessors, the present Chairman being someone whom he has known and whose integrity he has trusted.
Sultan Abubakar emphasised the reason behind introducing the Hajj Development Levy in Nigeria’s Hajj management as well as the vision of making the Hajj industry financially autonomous. He then called on the board to take the matter of staff welfare seriously while also admonishing staff and management alike to epitomize the teachings of Islam in their lives in order to address so many misconceptions about the religion. Additionally, His Eminence enjoined all Muslims to be law abiding to government protocols on Covid-19 and other matters of governance.
In his welcome address, NAHCON’s Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan expressed delight for the visit and appreciated the honour accorded by the Sultan’s visit despite his tight schedule. He outlined the 4thboard’s goals which were unfolded at inception, to include: making Hajj fare affordable for Nigerian Muslims; developing a plan of action by which Nigerian pilgrims will spend lesser number of days in the Holy land; implementation of Hajj Saving Scheme (HSS); take–off of the Hajj Training Institute (HTI); Digital Transformation of Hajj operations; staff welfare and; acquisition of property in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
According to Alhaji Hassan, his board has intensified drive for Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) through the facilitation of Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission, ICRC. This will accelerate Public Private Partnership (PPP) in developing some of the country’s Hajj Camps and its landed properties so that they become busy through out the year instead of only during Hajj periods.
At the end of the visit, the Sultan requested for a group photograph with all staff of the Commission present.
Present at the meeting were NAHCON’s Commissioner of Operations, Alhaji Abdullahi Magaji Hardawa, Commissioner of PRSILS, Sheikh Suleiman Momoh, some board members and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Egypt, Amb. Nura Rimi also a former member of NAHCON’s board. Likewise present were NAHCON’s directors, management and other essential staff of the commission on duty due to Covid-19 restrictions.