The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has said that the pilgrimage from Nigeria to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will start on May 21, 2023.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NAHCON, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, made this announcement on Wednesday in Abuja during the opening of application forms and the beginning of the Aviation Monitoring and Airline Screening Committees.
10 airlines submitted applications to fly Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the 2023 hajj, while three cargo carriers submitted applications to fly the pilgrims’ luggage home.
Aero Contractors, Air Peace, Arik Air, Flynas, Azman Air, Max Air, Sky Power, United Nigeria Airlines were the airlines that expressed interest, and the three cargo airlines are Cargo Zeal, Cargo Solo Deke Global Trips, and one other.
The screening committee was requested by the head of NAHCON to finish its report by March 7 so that it could be forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari for approval.
He also gave the committee the responsibility of making sure that any airport and aircraft-related technical difficulties were promptly rectified.
Hassan further urged all aspiring pilgrims to promptly finish their registration with the various State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards, Agencies, and Commissions or via the Hajj Savings Plan.
He claims that the registration for the 2023 hajj will be closed in due course in order to meet the Saudi Arabian government’s deadline.
“The terms and references of the Aviation Monitoring Committee include constituting a subcommittee to review all documents submitted by the applicant-airlines and cargo carriers,” Hassan said.
The screening committee’s chairman and the NAHCON commissioner of operations, Alhaji Abdullahi Hardawa, had earlier reaffirmed the group’s commitment to exerting all effort to make the 2023 Hajj operation a success.
Also, Sen. Adamu Bulkachuwa, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, urged the members of the screening committee to justify the confidence reposed on them.
“In my capacity as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, we constantly follow the hajj operation attentively. T he rest of the hajj operation will be successful if airlines execute well.
“I implore you to work together and ensure that the airport from where you plan to conduct business is in excellent condition. Plan ahead and take the appropriate action to prevent flight delays or cancellations,” he concluded.