Nigeria to complete airlift of pilgrims on Saturday

By Aliyu Othman, Abuja


The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON says all airlifts of pilgrims will be completed on August 3.

The Commissioner Operations, Alhaji Abdullahi Modibbo Sale said so far, the airlift of over 40,000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the 2019 Hajj had been smooth and it would not be delayed as planned.

”The Nigerian hajj operations received Saudi Arabian commendation based on the abilities of the Commission to plan and execute effective documentation of pilgrims, online visa issuance, airlift, arrangements for pilgrims in the two holy cities of Makka and Madina and other sites which served as encouragement for them to do more,” he said.

Alhaji Sale told Voice of Nigeria in a programme ‘In the News’ that Nigeria was ranked third rising from the bottom 10 nations that planned successful hajj operations around the world in the past two years and they are ready to top the list on hajj operations soon.

“At the traditional signing of memoranda that Saudi Arabia undertook with any country around the world, they told Nigeria we have nothing to tell you as far as hajj last year was concerned except that you did wonderful well, from the bottom you came to be number three,’’ he stated.

According to him, ‘the plan is to ensure that having scaled all the ranks of these countries that participated in hajj operations around the world, Nigeria will sustain the lead.”

”Everything being equal with determination of leadership, cooperation from the state levels and with the support of key stakeholders like the civil aviation partners and other handlers Nigeria will not even be the best but leave a gap to the second best nation on hajj operations planning,’’ he stressed.

Alhaji Sale however advised pilgrims to the 2019 hajj to Saudi Arabia to take the hajj seriously, to do what the religion asked them to do to earn the reward of God as well as respect the rules and regulations of Nigeria and the Saudi Arabian governments.

He said; ”pilgrims should desists from transporting anything harmful or that will inconvenience them, food substances or weapons are totally prohibited… when coming back to Nigeria avoid carrying extra luggage that will inconvenience you.’’

Alhaji Sale said all the food they needed would be available in Saudi Arabia as measures are being taken to ensure that even locally made foods would be available for pilgrims throughout their stay in Saudi Arabia.


Mercy Chukwudiebere