The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has officially requested Saudi Arabia based service provider, otherwise known as Mutawiff, to refund for services not rendered or rendered unsatisfactorily in Mina to Nigerian pilgrims during the 2023 Hajj exercise.
A letter, titled ‘Complaints on insufficient tents and poor feeding services rendered to Nigerian pilgrims by the Mutawiff for pilgrims of Africa non-Arab countries during the 2023 Hajj sighted by HAJJ REPORTERS and addressed to Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, urged the ministry to “instruct Mutawiff company to refund money paid for tents and feeding services not rendered during the 2023 Hajj at Mina for onward release to pilgrims”.
According to the letter, NAHCON reminded the Minister of Hajj that during the joint preparatory meeting for the 2023 Hajj, the Mutawiff company assured Nigerian contingent of best services to Nigerians.
NAHCON further said “it is unfortunate to inform you that the Mashair experience from the 2023 Hajj has been described as the worst in recent years by many stakeholders. This arose from the situation where thousands of Nigerian pilgrims in all tent categories (A,B,C & D) were left under scorching sun. Some pilgrims were left without tents, water and food in Mina and Arafat.
NAHCON in the letter also requested the Minister to henceforth allow #Nigeria to take charge of feeding arrangements. It stated that “the Ministry should allow Nigeria to manage Mashair feeding arrangements due to persistent failure by the Mutawiff company.
It also requested that: “All tent in subsequent #Hajj be fully fenced, tilled and carpeted and provided with enough security personnel to adequately guard the various gates to prevent infiltration of the camp by illegal and unregistered pilgrims; classification and marketing of tents packages should be unambiguous by providing clear details of services and facilities to avoid confusion witnessed in 2023.
Besides, NAHCON informed the Minister that the shortage of tents this year was primarily as a result of allocating the same space allotted to Nigeria during the 2022 Hajj when Nigeria was allocated 43,000 pilgrims.
Under Observations 2 (iii) it said: “The shortage of bed spaces resulted from allocating the same space provided for about 43,000 pilgrims during the 2022 Hajj for the 95,000 pilgrims for 2023 Hajj.
It will be recalled that Nigerian pilgrims have complained of poor services by the Saudi Arabia based service providers during the 2023 #Hajj.
DISPLEASED WITH RETURN AIRLINE SLOT
NAHCON further expressed displeasure over allotment of “airlift slot’ to Nigerian airlines and demanded the review of clause on provision of services and facilities at Mina to avoid future occurrences.
”Let me also add that the Nigerian Hajj Mission was displeased during the second phase of airlift operations after Hajj where Nigeria air carriers seemed to have been deliberately or inadvertently denied airlift slots allocation to transport their pilgrims back home in the first week of the in-bound operations,” the letter stressed.
The commission requested that Nigerian airlines should be given priority in allocation of airlift slots in the first week of departure of Hajj operations due to its large number of pilgrims.
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