The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) said it has constituted a committee to search for a new Mutawifs company to provide better services to Nigerian pilgrims during the 2024 hajj.
Mutawifs are local companies in Saudi Arabia that provide a range of services to pilgrims. They arrange transportation between ports of entry and the holy sites, accommodations, feeding and other services required by the pilgrims.
Nigerian pilgrims had complained about poor services rendered by some of the Saudi firms.
The Chairman of NAHCON, Zikrullah Hassan, said a committee had been set up to come up with alternative options ahead of the 2024 hajj exercise.
He stated this on Thursday in Abuja at the Independent Hajj Reporters 2023 Hajj Lecture and Award.
He said hajj slots had been distributed to states’ Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards and Agencies for timely preparation of the 2024 hajj.
“A minimum Hajj fare deposit has been announced which is N4.5 million. We have conducted an in-house review of the 2023 hajj to find a lasting solution to the challenges experienced during the previous pilgrimage before the next one,” he said.
The former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, urged the federal government to initiate a policy to address the issues of tour operators not meeting up with their duties during the hajj pilgrimage.
The National Coordinator of Independent Hajj Reporters, Ibrahim Muhammed, said the hajj and umrah industry in Nigeria would continue to experience galloping challenges “unless we adopt a regular and critical look at how administrative structures of other top 10 countries impacted on hajj services delivery and preparation.
The Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Agency, Dr. Yusuf Arrigasiyyu while receiving the award of Best Hajj Administrator said the award was an encouragement to do more in the best interest of the pilgrims.
He said for the state to win the best in media sensitisation shows that the agency is committed to catering for its pilgrims before, during and after the hajj exercise.