The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria is set to conclude airlifting operations of intending pilgrims from Nigeria to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Hajj 2023 on the 18th of June. The Commissioner; Planning, Research, Statistics, Information and Library Services (PRSILS) Sheikh Suleiman Imonikhe Momoh stated this while responding to questions on a live flagship program “Guest of Allah” organized by Peace Magazine in collaboration with Citizen FM 93.7 Abuja.
Speaking further the commissioner had said this is a self target for the Commission to finish all airlifting operations of its passengers on or before the 18th against the date of 24th June set by the Saudi authorities for the closure of its Airspace. the closure date is four days to the commencement of Hajj rites.
“don’t forget that we are working to deliver Seventy-Five thousand state pilgrims and the remaining twenty thousand pilgrims will be delivered by Tour operators, however we have a week between the 18th to 24th and we have taken adequate measures to deal with any eventualities that may arise,” he said.
speaking earlier on the show, he noted that his department is in charge of general planning of activities all year round for the commission, as such they follow the Calendar of events judiciously to have everything actualized. they take charge of the accommodation, Feeding, and Medical needs of pilgrims, National Ulama and the National media team.
in a bid to clarify allegations of extra fees collected by states, he said states that collected extra money from pilgrims against the statutory approved amount did that in line with their extra activity, and members paid willingly. he noted that NAHCON had no issues with such arrangements so long as they are lawful, and did not clash with the commission’s activities especially time for departure. “Airlift from Nigeria and departure from Saudi Arabia is based on first to come and first to go basis”.
s of the time of filing this reportA, 44 flights have Airlifted 18,152. the commissioner expects an increased frequency of departures as the issues one of the carriers had with the Nigerian aviation authorities have been resolved.