Saudi Arabia returns 95,000 Hajj spots to Nigeria

Osun Muslim pilgrims' welfare board prepares for 2023 Hajj

In preparation for the Holy pilgrimage in 2023, Saudi Arabia has returned 95,000 Hajj spaces to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria.

This was contained in a statement released by Assistant Director of Information and Publications at NAHCON, Mousa Ubandawaki on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ubandawaki said; “The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has granted Nigeria its usual allocation of 95,000 slots in 2023 holy pilgrimage.

“The hopes of many prospective Nigeria pilgrims to perform the 2023 Hajj may have been answered as the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has approved the pre-COVID-19 allocation NAHCON.

“The good news was announced by Bahauddeen Alwani, the Director-General in charge of Hajj Missions at the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, during a preparatory meeting for hajj via a video conference with the Chairman of NAHCON, Malam Zukrullah Hassan.

“Other guidelines released for the 2023 Hajj by the Ministry included the removal of age barrier or limit and cancellation of PCR Test for the Hajj

“In addition, the Ministry also stated that henceforth, any payment to service providers must be through the e-track or e-wallet platforms as the Kingdom will not take responsibilities for payment outside the two platforms,” he said.

In his reaction, the NAHCON Chairman, Hassan, thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for early planning and restoring the nation’s Hajj budget.

He described it as heartwarming that the Kingdom, through the Ministry of Hajj, had given many potential Nigerian pilgrims who wanted to do the Hajj this year newfound hope and confidence.

He also expressed gratitude to the Ministry for its ongoing assistance and cooperation in serving the guest of Allah.

However, the chairman pleaded with the Ministry to let the commission manage the meals during Mashair operations.

He maintained that by doing this, the commission will be able to better serve Nigeria’s pilgrims than it did for the Hajj in 2022.