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Global - February 14, 2023

A letter to NAHCON, by Jamilu Bello Dogarawa

The 2022 Hajj exercise left some of us with indelible challenges coming after the two years suspension by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia due to the Covid-19 pandemic that affected many countries including Nigeria. The financial aspect was highest in the history of the the National Hajj Commission, NAHCON.


The commission asked all the pilgrims to pay N2.5 million, which forced many intending pilgrims to forego their intentions due to the harsh economic situation in the country. Also, the inability of some intending pilgrims to complete the amount to the commission and the limited number of slots allocated to Nigeria by Saudi Arabia compounded the problem.


However, when cheering news filtered the air that Saudi Arabia government has refunded the sum of SR542,033 (five hundred and fourty two thousand thirty three Saudi riyal) equivalent to N107,864,567 for the poor feeding services rendered by the company of Mutawwifs for pilgrims from Africa and other non Arab countries, many affected pilgrims expressed their happiness.


Unfortunately, more than two months after the news, the NAHCON has failed to remit the money to affected pilgrims who overpaid the said amount in 2022 . With 2023 Hajj preparation in top gear, the commission should quickly release and pay the money to 2022 pilgrims.


It is undisputable fact that NAHCON has a good record of clearing backlog of liabilities being owed to pilgrims. With hardship being experienced across the nooks and crannies of the country, the commission should expedite action to facilitate prompt payment or redeem its pledge to the 2022 pilgrims. The gesture will go a long way to ease difficulties and restore NAHCON’s long held integrity.

After all, the amount due for payment is meant for 2022 pilgrims, why the delay? Please, NAHCON do the needful.

Jamilu Bello Dogarawa, Zaria, Kaduna state email jbdogarawa@gmail.com

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