FOR THE RECORD: TEXT OF SPEECH DELIVERED BY ALHAJI ZIKRULLAH KUNLE HASSAN, THE CHAIRMAN/CEO OF NATIONAL HAJJ COMMISSION OF NIGERIA AT THE INDEPENDENT HAJJ REPORTERS’ 2023 HAJJ LECTURE/AWARD HELD AT: THE NATIONAL MOSQUE, ABUJA 21st SEPTEMBER, 2023
Assalamu Alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakaatuhu
Permit me to humbly recognize the established protocol.
Indeed, it gives me a great sense of honour and appreciation to
welcome the Hajj and Umrah family to this occasion of HAJJ LECTURE
AND AWARDS organized by the Independent Hajj Reporters.
also to commend this organization for their dedication and contributions in
promoting healthy competition and creating public awareness in hajj and
Umrah operations in Nigeria. May Almighty Allah reward you all. Ameen
- As your Chief Host, I welcome you all to this event and I pray Almighty
Allah to return you safely to your various destinations, Ameen.
- This event is very important to NAHCON as the apex Hajj and Umrah
regulatory body in Nigeria since it affords us an additional ground to interact
with various stakeholders within Hajj and Umrah institutions in Nigeria.
NAHCON under my leadership will continue to associate and partner with
individuals or groups to harness a realistic way of achieving an agreeable
concept of ‘successful hajj’.
I am happy to inform you that NAHCON has kick-started the journey to
the 2024 Hajj. Hajj slots have been distributed to States’ Muslim Pilgrims
Welfare Boards and Agencies. A minimum Hajj fare deposit has been
announced which is 4.5million Naira, we have conducted an in-house
review of the 2023 hajj with the objective of finding a lasting solution to the
challenges experienced during the previous pilgrimage before next one.
Again, only this Tuesday 19th of September precisely, we held a crucial
meeting with Saudi Arabian Hajj representatives with whom we are working
on a comprehensive blueprint for the 2024 hajj. The outcome was a
- As part of our resolve to ensure the highest quality of services for our
pilgrims in the next hajj, NAHCON under my leadership has set up an inter
institutional committee to search for a new Mutawifs Services Company that
will superintend better service delivery to our pilgrims during the coming hajj
season. The Committee which comprises one (1) representative from the
Presidency, three (3) members from NAHCON, two (2) from the States
Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards as well as two (2) representatives from the
Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria (AHUON) will come up
with alternative options ahead of the 2024 hajj exercise.
- NAHCON is leaving nothing to chance in ensuring that we consolidate
on the successes achieved during the 2023 hajj and harness every
opportunity that will make the 2024 hajj a memorable one for our pilgrims
- Ladies and Gentlemen, NAHCON has officially requested refunds from
the Muasasah Company that provided services to Nigerian pilgrims in Muna
this year, and the outcome of our request will be communicated to our dear
- Let it be on record that despite the unforeseen challenges encountered
during the previous hajj airlift operations, NAHCON with support from
States Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards successfully airlifted 73, 782 States
pilgrims in 181 flight operations in the outbound journey. In the second
phase of the operation, 72, 658 States pilgrims were airlifted back home via
183 flight operations within 28 days. I am pleased to inform this gathering
that no single pilgrim with a valid visa was left behind in Nigeria and
NAHCON was able to assist Private Hajj and Umrah Operators when it
mattered most. In summary, 95, 000 Nigerian registered pilgrims were
successfully airlifted to Saudi Arabia for 2023 hajj.
- This is a great achievement if we consider that Nigeria’s allocation
during the 2022 hajj was 50 percent of that of the 2023 hajj.
- Let me use this medium to call on intending pilgrims to the 2024 hajj to
hasten in paying up their hajj fare balances when the time is due. This is
because visa processing will end earlier than previously done in line with
the host country’s new schedule. Indeed, visa processing will end
approximately 50 days before Arafat to allow the Kingdom to plan for the
ultimate number of registered pilgrims ahead of time.
- Besides, I must warn, all intending pilgrims should be prepared to pay
for hajj at the cost of the prevailing foreign exchange rate of the time. We all
are aware that federal government has allowed the Naira to float freely for
its value to be determined by market realities. This means Nigerian pilgrims
to Hajj should be prepared to pay for the Hajj fare without government’s
intervention or granting of concessionary exchange rate.
- Brothers and Sisters, without taking much of your precious time, we
hope that this event will enrich our knowledge, serve as a pillar of
motivation to Hajj administrators to compete for better services to pilgrims,
bridge the gap between Media, pilgrims and Hajj administrators to
understand the applicable meaning of hitch-free hajj and help us in
redefining the benchmark for measuring success during Hajj.
- Once again, I congratulate organizers of this great lecture and wish us
all fruitful deliberations. My prayer does not end there, I pray that each one
of us in our various capacities will implement useful outcomes of the
deliberations. We in NAHCON welcome positive discourse at all times. I
also congratulate the recipients of today’s award and pray that others too
will follow suit in striving to be among the best in the service of our
I thank you for listening.
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has been advised to discountenance…