The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Tuesday said it got a refund of SR542,033 (N107,864,567) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for poor feeding rendered by companies of Mutawwifs for pilgrims from African non-Arab countries during the 2022 hajj.
Mutawwifs are Saudi companies responsible for the accommodation, transportation and feeding of Nigerian and other African pilgrims in Muna and Arafat during the hajj.
The refund was due to complaints of poor food provided to pilgrims during the exercise.
In a statement, NAHCON said the development was a sequel to its several letters to the company contracted during the exercise.
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“In a letter signed by the chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr Ahmad Bin Abbas Sindi, to the Chairman/ CEO of the Commission, Zikirullah Hassan, it was revealed that the refund was due to the poor quality of service and in order for the company to maintain the National relationship between the commission, the sum of S R542, 033 has been deducted from the amount of the Masha’ir feeding contract.”
On his part, the NAHCON boss said the development was exciting as it vindicated the commission’s tenacious struggle to right the wrongs done to Nigerian pilgrims during the Hajj by the Muassassah, especially in the feeding arrangement and the quality of services rendered during the period.
“I really want to thank my counterparts from the Mutawwifs for this role in ensuring that they refunded the money paid for services not rendered or poorly delivered,” he said.
When contacted on how the money would be disbursed, NAHCON’s Assistant Director, Information and Publication Division, Mousa Ubandawaki, said the commission was yet to collect the money.
He said when collected, the money would be given to states’ pilgrims’ boards whose responsibility it is to identify and refund the pilgrims affected.