Katsina State Pilgrims’ Welfare Board has emerged as the best State Pilgrims’ Welfare Board for the 2022 hajj exercise.
The award was presented on Thursday in Abuja to Governor Aminu Bello Masari, at the 2022 Hajj Lecture/Award, organised by the Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR).
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Presenting the award, the National Coordinator of IHR, Malam Ibrahim Muhammad, said the award was based on the performance of the state from 2015 to 2022 in hajj operations.
According to him, Katsina State Government has been consistent in providing support for intending pilgrims from the onset of their preparations to the conclusion of their Hajj rites in Saudi Arabia.
“In addition, Katsina is the only state with an independent Pilgrims Welfare Board, which is not subjected to any form of control by the government. The board has been operating without interference from the government,” Muhammad said.
Receiving the award, Governor Masari dedicated it to Allah and commended all the stakeholders for their contributions to the state to achieve such a feat.
The state also won the best accommodation for pilgrims’ award and the best-organised team award at the ceremony.
Nasarawa State won the best welfare service award, while Bauchi State won the best Hajj Camp preparations award, among others.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, NAHCON, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, during his remarks at the award ceremony, said preparation had commenced for the 2023 Hajj.
Hassan, represented by the Director of Administration and Human Resources, NAHCON, Dr Ibrahim Sodangi, said the preparations started at the end of the 2022 Hajj, even before departure from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
According to him, the commission held a preparatory meeting with accommodation providers to secure befitting accommodation for the 2023 pilgrims.
He also said that the commission plans to organise an international conference with resource persons from different parts of the world to further brainstorm toward a successful Hajj.