Again, NAHCON Reassures Nigerian Pilgrims, Says No One Will Be Left Behind By Alabidun Shuaib AbdulRahman With only 12 days remaining until the closure of Saudi Arabian airspace for the 2023 Hajj operations, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has reassured intending Nigerian pilgrims that no one will be left behind in the
Again, NAHCON Reassures Nigerian Pilgrims, Says No One Will Be Left Behind
By Alabidun Shuaib AbdulRahman
With only 12 days remaining until the closure of Saudi Arabian airspace for the 2023 Hajj operations, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has reassured intending Nigerian pilgrims that no one will be left behind in the country.
The assurance was made by Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, Chairman of the commission during a press briefing in Abuja.
He provided an update on the airlift operations to Saudi Arabia, stating that the commission has processed 73,310 visas, out of the 75,000 slots allocated to the States of the Federation for the 2023 Hajj exercise.
Hassan, represented by Prince Suleiman Momoh, the Commissioner in charge of Planning, Research, Statistics, Information, and Library Services, further mentioned that 48,597 intending pilgrims have been transported to the Holy Land as of Wednesday, June 14, 2023.
This progress has been achieved despite the challenges encountered during the airlift operations that began on Thursday, May 25.
“There are certain challenges here due to the mechanical devices that can break down anytime, but we are proactive to ensure that whatever situation occurs, we will prevent it and where any happens we will engage in prompt action to resolve it.
“We are looking into areas of bringing in more hands by way of rescue missions, a lot of people have indicated interest, and all of these are geared towards ensuring no single registered pilgrim is left behind at the end of the day,” Hassan assured.
Notably, Nigeria has filled all the allocated slots given by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the first time, following the backlog of pilgrims who were unable to participate in the Hajj for two years during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NAHCON chairman emphasised their determination to ensure that all registered prospective Nigerian pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia before the deadline for the spiritual exercise, with two weeks remaining until its commencement.
Saudi Arabia has restored 95,000 Hajj slots to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria for the 2023 Hajj. Among these, 75,000 slots were allocated to the States and Armed Forces of Nigeria, while 20,000 were distributed to independent private tour operators.
Regarding the progress of the current year’s Hajj, out of the 48,597 Nigerian pilgrims already transported to the Holy Land, 35,178 have proceeded to Makkah for the next phase of their pilgrimage, while the remaining pilgrims are still in Madinah, engaged in the first phase of the spiritual exercise.