The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has set up three committees to kick start preparations for Hajj 2019.
The chairman of the commission, Abdullahi Mohammed, set up the committees on Friday in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
A statement Sunday by the spokesperson of NAHCON, Fatima Usara, said the three groups comprising staff of NAHCON and officials from State Pilgrims Welfare Boards (SPWBs) “were created to start preparation for 2019 Hajj, vis-a-vis arrangements for accommodation and other matters in Makkah and Madinah”.
The statement also said Mr Mohammed who met with officials from SPWBs expressed the commission ‘s appreciation to the officials, Nigerian pilgrims, the Saudi Arabian government and President Muhammadu Buhari for a successful 2018 Hajj
“In a meeting with SPWB Executives in Makkah’s Ummul Judd office of NAHCON, the CEO thanked President Muhammad Buhari for continually supporting NAHCON and paving the way for it to overcome its challenges.
“He commended Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for overseeing a Hajj season devoid of outbreak of any major diseases, mishaps, and called for more prayers for prosperous Hajj seasons,” the statement said.
It also said Mr Mohammed acknowledged how difficult handling the affairs of millions of people from different socio-cultural backgrounds must be yet, “the Saudi government goes the extra mile to protect and provide satisfaction to guests of The Merciful Lord.”
Mr Muhammad also complimented SPWBs for their cooperation throughout the 2018 Hajj operation, urging them to continue to join hands with NAHCON and air carriers for the smooth movement of pilgrims back home.
He called on them to educate pilgrims on the need to comply with luggage regulations to avoid unnecessary delays at screening points in the airports.
The NAHCON chairman also commended Nigerian pilgrims to this year’s Hajj for their “patience, comportment, most especially their orderliness”.
He also acknowledged that most of them remained within the precincts defined for hand luggage, thus, the bane of arriving Jeddah Airport with multiple excess luggage was minimal compared to other years.
He promised that all pilgrims will be transported home to Nigeria within the shortest time possible.
Meanwhile, 40 flights have so far transported about 12,000 pilgrims back to Nigeria with FlyNas making the most trips.
To date, Kogi, Oyo, Nasarawa states and the Federal Capital Territory have concluded the movement of their pilgrims back to Nigeria while Ogun and Lagos states are at the verge of concluding.