The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has disclosed that it would commence screening of airlines that would convey the intending pilgrims in the first week of March in order to ensure smooth operation for the 2023 hajj.
NAHCON Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, made this submission during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
He explained that unlike the 2022 hajj, which was held on an emergency basis, this year’s Hajj would not be held on an emergency, promising that this year would be a good year for the Nigerian Muslim Ummah in terms of Hajj.
While noting that they have learnt from the challenges it encountered during the 2022 hajj operations, he stressed that the commission did not wish for such challenges to happen.
He declared that the commission had started early preparations for this year’s hajj and hat would help to overcome challenges.
“Last year’s Hajj was an emergency. Many of those things that happened. We did not wish them to happen because it was an emergency hajj operation. This year, the coast is very clear.
“We also looked at what we need to do to forestall the challenges we faced last year.
“Some of the ways to solve these challenges is by starting early. Because we have started early, we will be able to address any challenge as soon as possible,” the NAHCON CEO said.
Hassan said the commission had analyzed last year’s hajj operations so that they can learn from experience to ensure this year operations were successful and hitch-free.
“We have reviewed last year’s operation, and by Allah’s will this year’s operation will be hitch-free.
“I must inform you that for every NAHCON stakeholders, we are on the same page to ensure that this Hajj is very successful.
“You are aware that 95,000 hajj slots has been given to Nigerian Muslims. We have also gone to Saudi Arabia for first pre-hajj visits in order to familiarize and screen service providers.
“We have already allocated slots to each state. We are in the process of doing so many other things. For instance, we intend to start screening the airline for this year Hajj by the first week in March,” the chairman said.
He then noted that unlike what happened last year, there was no restrictions placed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the 2023 hajj exercise.
“For this year, there is not restrictions, no age limit. It is full Hajj,” Hassan declared.