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Saudi Arabia restores 95,000 hajj slots to Nigeria

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has restored 95,000 Hajj slots to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), ahead of the 2023 Holy pilgrimage.

This was the usual allocation to Nigeria prior to the covid-19 pandemic. for the holy pilgrimage.

Director-General in charge of Hajj Missions, Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, Bahauddeen Alwani made the announcement at a preparatory meeting for hajj via a video conference with the Chairman of NAHCON, Malam Zukrullah Hassan.

Assistant Director, Information and Publications, NAHCON, Mousa Ubandawaki, said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

“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”, he said.

“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 responsibility for payment outside the two platforms,” Ubandawaki noted.

Similarly, he said that the Saudi Hajj Ministry had also granted the commission the right of choice of package for pilgrims’ services from the Mutawwiffs of African Non-Arab countries.

NAHCON’s Chairman, Malam Zukrullah Hassan said “it was heartwarming” that the Kingdom through the Ministry of Hajj has restored the hope and confidence of many prospective Nigerian pilgrims that desired to perform the Hajj.

The chairman, however, appealed to the Ministry to allow the commission to handle the feeding management during the Mashair activities, to enable the commission to serve Nigeria’s pilgrims better than what was obtained at the 2022 Hajj.

Writing by Muzha Kucha