THE National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has said pilgrims enjoyed a $410 reduction in accommodation fare in this year’s Hajj operation, among other services.

 Chairman of the commission, Zikrullah Hassan, who spoke with newsmen, in Lagos, identified the lack of a national carrier for transporting pilgrims to and from Saudi Arabia as a major challenge the commission is grappling with, among others.

Hassan said: “We were able to reduce the cost of accommodation in Makkah from $930 to $520 per pilgrim during this year’s Hajj operation.

 “We were also able to reduce the number of days pilgrims spent in Saudi Arabia.

“Normally, preparation for Hajj operations should take a minimum of six months, but we had less than one month to prepare for this year’s Hajj, which came with many challenges.”

Assuring that the commission has started preparation for the 2023 Hajj in earnest to overcome some of the challenges faced this year, the chairman said: “We met with all officials of Hajj operators during Hajj 2022 for discussion on areas of service delivery to pilgrims.

 “We agreed to work collectively and to improve service delivery to pilgrims by setting standards for operation.

 “Preparation has already started on due diligence for the appointment of Air Carriers for the Hajj 2023 operation.”

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