By Ishola Balogun, from Saudi Arabia

The leadership of National Hajj Commission, NAHCON, has sought refund for rejected meals served by the Mutawif at the Masha’ir which include Mina and Arafat. 

NAHCON chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan gave the hint during visitation to state pilgrims’ tent in Mina.

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The visitation was meant to interact with pilgrims and feel their pulse on issues of welfare in the last few days.

Expectedly, all the states visited complained about the poor meal served in Mina.

 Alhaji Hassan said neither State Pilgrims Board nor NAHCON was involved in the feeding arrangement of pilgrims at Mina.

He stressed that the Muasasa (a body in charge of pilgrims issue) insisted it would take charge of feeding of pilgrims at Mina even against the wish of State Pilgrims Boards and NAHCON.

Requesting for refund for rejected meal, NAHCON in a proactive step wrote to the company in charge, expressing the pilgrims’ disappointment and sought for a refund.

The letter dated July 10, and addressed to the Chairman, Company of Mutawifs for Pilgrims of African Non-Arab Countrie, is entitled ‘Letter of complaint on Mashai’r Feeding Services For Hajj 2022’.

It read: “This is to bring to your kind attention complaints on the inadequate and poor standard of meals supplied to Nigerian pilgrims at Mina.

“If not that it was quickly addressed by the Commission, it would have led to a serious security breach at the Mashair.”

According to Alhaji Hassan, the affected states complained of “Tasteless food,  no water, no juice and also late  delivery of meals, and food monotony” among other complaints, which has led to the rejection  of meals by Nigerian Pilgrims.

“Given the above, the Commission sought that refund be made to aggrieved pilgrims in total of un-supplied and rejected meals.”

Alhaji Hassan said that state pilgrims’ welfare boards were in the past responsible for engaging catering companies, but said the reverse was the case this year as the Saudi Arabian company in question insisted on taking over the function.

He commended Nigerian pilgrims for civility, patriotism, and perseverance and assured pilgrims that NAHCON will seek redress in any way to protect the interest of Nigerian Pilgrims at all times.

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