By Abba U. Yusuf
When the current board of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) was inaugurated the Muslim Ummah rejoiced and were grateful to Allah (swt) and appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for the choice of the board and Management especially the CEO in the person of Bar. Zikirullah Kunle Hassan.
Nigerian Muslim Ummah were happy and optimistic based on the objectives set out by the Board under the Current CEO especially on:
1 – Reduce the cost of Hajj
2 – Hajj Savings Scheme
3 – Establish Hajj Institute
Unfortunately as Allah (swt) willed, Hajj for foreign pilgrims was cancelled for two consecutive years 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19 pandemic
NAHCON’s quest to establish a Hajj Institute Inshaa Allah is achievable based on the inspection and assurance given by the inspection team of the NBTE.
To be fair to NAHCON, reducing the cost of Hajj fare this year will proves daunting because the major cost components of Hajj operations are done in foreign currency, and exchange rates are not within their control. But the board should be prudent in bargaining and negotiations for services to be rendered to pilgrims in the holy land. The pilgrims deserve quality service locally before departure, during stay in the holy land and on arrival after Hajj.
On Hajj Savings Scheme (HSS) during advocacy visits to state Governors and Traditional/Religious leaders, NAHCON was commended on its vision of performing Hajj without spending ones’ live savings. The CEO of NAHCON repeatedly stated that HSS is for future plan and not immediate that prospective pilgrim has an option of either to pay for Hajj through the normal State pilgrim’s welfare boards (SPWB) or enroll into HSS.
Alhamdulillah there is a prospect of foreign pilgrims will partake in Hajj 2022 as monitored in various media outlets international and local especially our own Independent Hajj reporters Group, but the general instructions issued by NAHCON to states to migrate all Hajj deposits into Hajj Saving Scheme will be counter productive because time is of essence in preparing for Hajj 2022 and HSS in it concept is optional not Compulsory on the pilgrims.
NAHCON should not falls for quest for cheap deposit float; NAHCON needs other financial institutions in Hajj operations especially in providing Pilgrims BTAs
By Fatima Sanda Usara To start with, Saudi Arabia has made its stand clear t…