Facing The Ka'aba

June 20, 2024

Begin registration of 2025 hajj now, NAHCON tells states boards, tour operators

Alhaji Jalal Arabi, NAHCON Chairman

Alhaji Jalal Arabi, NAHCON Chairman

…issuance of Visas starts Feb 19, ends April 29

…Nusuk card didn’t stop illegal migrants from accessing Hajj camp – Dr Tanko Aliyu

…return journey will be first-in-first-out policy

By Haroon-Ishola Balogun

The chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi has urged States Pilgrims Boards, Agencies and the Private Tour Operators to begin registration of 2024 Hajj registration now.

Arabi, who stated this at the Post-Arafat conference meant to do a post-mortem of the 2024 Hajj, held at the Makkah, Saudi Arabia Wednesday, enjoined all stakeholders to announce Hajj fares based on the current parameters to kick start the process.

Arabi said that the Saudi government had released the time-table and timeline for the 2025 Hajj operation.

“The 2025 hajj process has begun with the meeting held yesterday. I call on the States Tour Operator of tour operators and other stakeholders to also begin the process for now. You can announce the 2025 hajj fare based on current parameters.

“They have transmitted to us the beginning of the process. They have opened the portal and e-wallet. They want that as of September 1, 2024, to start preparatory meetings, meetings with service providers, accommodation and appointment of air carriers.

“By October 25, 2024, the allocation of tents will begin at the Holy Masha’ir

By January 30, 2025, the usual Hajj conference and exhibition will begin, signing of Memorandum of Understanding, MoU and Agreements.

“By February 19, 2025 commencement of issuance of Visas, and by end of April, the issuance of Visas will end; and we hope by April 29, 2025, Pilgrims will start arriving in the Holy land for Hajj.

They were very cautious by sharing documents with us, but they also affirm and insist that this should be followed religiously.

“To this end, I call on all our stakeholders, partners, key players States and private Tour Operators and the Ulamas that we should take the lessons we learned from the 2024 Hajj, which nearly cost us dearly and programme ourselves against the 2025 Hajj with the aim of attaining remarkable success,” Arabi said.

Meanwhile, the Head of Aviation of NAHCON, Malam Goni Sanda said return journeys will begin on Saturday June 22 with the policy of First-in-First-Out and Last-in-Last-Out.

Mallam Sanda added that there will be three flights on the first day carrying pilgrims from Kebbi, Nasarawa and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He explained that the number of flights will then progress from three to four and five, assuring that the process has been designed to ensure the return journey is concluded at record time.

Goodwill messages were delivered by Abubakar Sani Bello, Chairman house committee on Foreign affairs who was represented by his aide as well as Malam Jafaru Muhammed, chairman, House committee on Pilgrimage Affairs.

The duo lauded the efforts NAHCON put in place to achieve seamless airlift of pilgrims out of Nigeria to the holy land, noting that “there was tremendous improvement in terms of airlifts as all pilgrims were airlifted to Madinah; this is a commendable achievement.”

Muhmmad said, “NAHCON success is our success and its failure is ours.” He sought views and opinions on how the committee can exercise its oversight functions to make the commission perform better.

“Our doors are open to all and sundry to give us their views and opinions on how we can make the commission better.”

Nusuk card didn’t stop illegal migrants from accessing Hajj camp – Dr Tanko Aliyu

Also, delivering his report, the chairman, NAHCON’s Committee on Movement of Pilgrims, Dr Tanko Aliyu said the Nusuk card introduced by Saudi authorities to prevent illegal migrants from gaining access to pilgrims’ tents at the sites of hajj rituals didn’t achieve its essence totally.

The Nusuk card was introduced this year by the Saudi authorities to give access only to legally registered pilgrims to the Holy sites.

Tanko said, “the essence of the card has not been achieved, even though it has worked to some extent but the objective of stopping fake pilgrims and illegal migrants has not been totally achieved.

Tanko, however, said that with the support of the Saudi authorities, the commission was able to overcome most of the challenges anticipated during the hajj.

”The 2024 Hajj came with a lot of things and we have overcome all the challenges we anticipated.

”Therefore, we have recorded tremendous successes.”