New Telegraph

2023 Hajj Pilgrims’ Welfare: Nigeria To Seek Refund From S’arabia Over Poor Feeding, Others

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said the country will demand a refund from Company Mutawifs for pilgrims from African non-Arab countries, following the alleged poor treatment of Nigerian pilgrims at the just-ended Hajj 2023 in the Middle East country.

Some Nigerian pilgrims were forced to stage a protest over poor feeding and shortages of tents during the Hajj. NAHCON Chairman, Zikrullah Kunle Hassan said this at a meeting with the management of Mutawifs Company in their Makkah head office.

Hassan said the Saudi company should be blamed for the challenges faced by Nigerian pilgrims. Recall that the Saudi authorities last year returned SR542, 033, the equivalent of N107, 864,567 to Nigeria, for the poor feeding rendered by the company for its pilgrims.

Hassan said: “We consider it our utmost responsibility to address this issue promptly and transparently. “As the first post-COVID full quota allocation, we anticipated certain challenges would arise. NAHCON meticulously planned and prepared to overcome these anticipated difficulties.

“Regrettably, the primary issue currently faced by our pilgrims is the shortage of tent spaces. Rest assured we have already taken proactive steps to tackle this matter, prioritising the safety and wellbeing of all Nigerian pilgrims. “For the Mina outing, we initially planned 95,000 slots.

All states have completed their first phase of the movement to Mina except Kano, Kaduna, Niger, Borno, some tour operators and South East states. “Despite this, owing to insufficient planning by the Mu’assasah, there was a downturn in tent space deliveries.

This unforeseen situation has been compounded by some pilgrims occupying multiple slots that could have been utilized by others, there- by exacerbating the shortage. “We would like to assure all pilgrims that we are fully committed to resolving this situation swiftly and effectively.

Our teams are working round the clock to provide the necessary support and additional resources to ensure the comfort and security of every Nigerian to alleviate our pilgrims’ inconveniences.”

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