The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has directed state pilgrims welfare boards and agencies to extend the deadline for the payment of 2017 Hajj fare by one week.
The Chairman/CEO of NAHCON, Abdullahi Muhammed, gave the directive in Abuja at the contract signing ceremony with 2017 approved Hajj carriers on Thursday.
He said the extension became necessary to enable the intending pilgrims more time to pay the outstanding balance saying, “Hajj is a divine call and therefore we must do everything to ease the path/pain of the people and enable more people to complete their payments.”
Mr. Abdullahi described the contract signing with the airlines as an important milestone stressing, “this event is very important. It’s a big step towards the commencement of Hajj airlift whose importance cannot be over emphasized. It can make or mar the success of the 2017 Hajj exercise.”
He, however, expressed confidence and trust in the ability of the airlines to deliver on their mandate.
“We have utmost trust and confidence in your capabilities to deliver and give the best services to Nigerian pilgrims.”
The NAHCON boss therefore enjoined the airlines to work together as a team, saying, “see each other as partners on national assignment. Support each other to fly the flag of the country in a positive and complementary ways in the interest of both the pilgrims and the nation at large.”
The chairman also expressed appreciation to the federal Government as well as the state pilgrims’ boards for their support and cooperation in the screening and appointment of the airlines.
Speaking on behalf of the approved airlines, the chief executive officer of Medview Airline, Munir Bankole, thanked the commission for the confidence and trust reposed on them and assured of their commitment and determination to make sure the 2017 Hajj records a resounding success.
The three airlines that sealed the 2017 Airlift Agreement are Medview Airline, Max Air and Azman airline which is participating in the airlift exercise for the first time. FlyNas, the Saudi Arabia designated airline, is expected to sign up later in the week.