LAGOS State Government said it has sold over 1,500 out of the 2,500 slots allocated to the state by the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON), for this year’s hajj.
Executive Secretary Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board Mr. Rahman Ishola, who spoke during a visit by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, to the board, said the state might request additional slots if it exhausted the initial 2,500.
He appealed to the commissioner for assistance on the challenges facing the board.
These, according to him, included inadequate office accommodation and furniture.
Elegushi said the government is targeting 4,000 pilgrims for this year’s exercise.
He said strategies and machinery had been put in place to meet the target.
Prince Elegushi expressed displeasure about the consistent reduction in the number of pilgrims from the state.
He said Lagos transported over 4,000 pilgrims to the Holy Land in the past.
“Being a sensitive exercise, hajj operation has become an interface between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, hence, the state cannot afford to renege on its mandate of improving on providing seamless and prompt airlifting exercise, a befitting hotel accommodation nearer to Haram in Mecca and Madinah, as well as adequate and effective information dissemination to the pilgrims. These will increase our quota in subsequent operations,” Elegushi said.
He added: “These three areas are very germane and critical for the board if it must sustain its enviable status of being the best among the rest in hajj operation across Nigeria; retain its regular pilgrims and attract more patronages.”
The commissioner assured intending pilgrims of qualitative and excellent service delivery during the hajj.
He was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Adebunmi Adekanye and other top officials of the ministry.