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Alleged poor feeding: NAHCON vows to sanction erring service providers

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Jalal Arabi, has vowed to mete out severe penalties to service providers found wanting…

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Jalal Arabi, has vowed to mete out severe penalties to service providers found wanting in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Arabi also promised swift and decisive action against those who failed to meet the expectations set by NAHCON.

He disclosed this in an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja on the completion of the first phase of the Hajj operations for the 2024 Hajj.

Penultimate week, a social media post purportedly claimed that Nigerian pilgrims currently observing the 2024 Hajj were served poor breakfasts despite paying a staggering N8m as Hajj fare.

Arabi said, “We have the volume of people that you have out there performing this religious obligation. You’re bound to be hailed and you’re bound to have missteps here and there. It’s not an excuse but expectedly like I said we have the responsibility to ensure that both their accommodation and feeding stand tops.”

Stressing the crucial role NAHCON played in ensuring the well-being of Hajj pilgrims, he said, “It’s true that there could be some complaints here and there.”

He, however, acknowledged the possibility of shortcomings.

“But let me tell you one thing that NAHCON did. We’ve so many eyes there apart from those that are saddled with the responsibility of being members of the committees to inspect the kitchen to ensure that the food is qualitative and it’s the requisite quantity or so,” he added.

Arabi noted that NAHCON’s commitment to upholding the standards of accommodation and nourishment for the pilgrims was unwavering.

He said, “But when we heard of infractions here and there, we set up our committees. We are living today or tomorrow when we arrive there, we will receive the report and we want to assure you that any of the providers that have been indicted, we have already enshrined in the agreement, not only we will sanction him/her we will deboard him/her, we’ll lay them off.”

He explained that the pilgrims deserve nothing less than fairness and respect, adding that pilgrims would start returning to Nigeria on June 22, 2024.

He said, “Because pilgrims are important. It’s their money, it’s their right and they should be treated fairly. Anything short of that we won’t accept it. So, once we get there we’ll receive the report.”

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