By Mustapha Adamu
National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has revealed that the Nigerian pilgrims for Hajj 2023 will be served local meals throughout their stay in Makkah and Madinah.
The Chairman/CEO of NAHCON, Alhaji Zaikrullah Kunle Hassan made the disclosure while delivering his speech at the 2023 Hajj inaugural flight, held at the pilgrim’s terminal in Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Thursday.
He said NAHCON, “in collaboration with the Mutawwif’s Company for Pilgrims of Non-Arab African Countries, popularly known as Muassasa, have put in place mechanisms for the comfort and safety of our pilgrims.
“We have agreed that this year, our pilgrims would be served indigenous meals.
“To this end, the Commission created job opportunities for our Nigerian caterers by insisting that Saudi based caterers work in partnership with them in preparing Nigerian local cuisines for our pilgrims.
The Chairman noted that the Commission decoded to hire indigenous airlines to airlift Nigerian pilgrims in a bid to promoting local airlines to remain afloat in the business.
“Hiring indigenous airlines for the airlift operations is the Commission’s way of promoting local airlines to remain in business.
“Let me seize this opportunity to implore our pilgrims to be good representatives of Nigeria by abiding to the rules and regulations of our host country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“I must commend the Custodians of the Two Holy mosques for their hospitality to pilgrims from all over the world. Truly they pride themselves as hosts to the Guests of the Most Merciful and they must be commended for playing this role well. I enjoin our pilgrims, here present and others that will follow, to pray for the peace and progress of our beloved country, Nigeria.
“The Commission appreciates the cooperation of all Stakeholders in the Hajj arrangements so far, however, it is now time for execution of these plans, we therefore urge you all to ensure readiness on all fronts, as you are aware, lapses in flight operations have a multiplier effect on other aspects of operations.
“All Nigerian Pilgrims traveling for Hajj 2023 are ambassadors of Nigeria in the Kingdom, hence, they should be law abiding to the regulations of the Kingdom, uphold the tenets of Islam, be courteous to their fellow pilgrims and above all, they should be well acquainted with the obligations of Hajj which is the main purpose of their journey,” he said.
*On this note, I want to restate and re assure Nigerians that this year’s Hajj won’t be just about stories but stories of success. We have made and concluded arrangements to ensure that the accommodation, feeding and transportation facilities on ground are the best.
We are all aware of the crisis in Sudan, we plead with our pilgrims as they will have to traverse through a route longer than usual. In the light of the above, the States are urged to properly enlighten their pilgrims,” he added.