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Hajj: NAHCON Suspends Seat Allocation To Private Tour Operators, Prioritizes Transparency

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), on Friday, said it has suspended the Allocations of Hajj seats to some tour operators to ensure transparency, fairness, and accountability in the conduct of the 2024 Hajj operation.

The Assistant Director of Public Operation, Fatima Sanda Usara disclosed this in a press release made available to newsmen.

It would be recalled that on Sunday, December 10, 2023, NAHCON informed the public that the Federal Government of Nigeria has facilitated the obtainment of an additional allocation of 30 slots for the Private Tour Operators (PTO) sector from the previous 10 slots allocated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

She explained that it was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, but thereafter, parameters were set to choose the best on a scale of 40 highest scores, adding that the list of successful PTOs was released by the Commission on the said Sunday with an assurance to oversee the formation of amicable alliances with the remaining 70.

However a new development has forced the Commission to take a decisive decision, this is in commitment to transparency and integrity, NAHCON has decided to suspend further activities related to the allocation of Hajj seats to the PTOs for the next 48 hours.”

” This decision comes in light of recent accusations levelled by some PTOs unable to meet the required pass mark. The Commission is fully aware that there may be dissenting voices which have expectedly begun to manifest,” Fatima Sanda Usara, said.

She notes that given this development, the NAHCON helmsman, Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi announced to the PTOs that members with legitimate grievances about the qualification of any tour operator are encouraged to present well-documented facts and figures supporting their claims. NAHCON is dedicated to ensuring a fair and impartial investigation into these allegations.

Fatima explained that upon receipt of the grievances, an extensive investigation would be carried out by an independent body. If the accusations are substantiated and found to be true, the necessary actions will be taken to rectify the situation.

The spokesperson said, however, it has been emphasized that if the allegations are frivolous, NAHCON warns that there will be consequences for those found to be making baseless claims. This measure is essential to maintain the integrity of the selection process and to protect the reputation of both the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria and the private tour operators involved.

“The 48 hours suspension of activities is a temporary measure aimed at ensuring the sanctity of the process. NAHCON remains committed to facilitating a fair and transparent pilgrimage experience for all Nigerian Muslims.”

“Indeed, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria is the governmental body responsible for coordinating the annual Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage for Nigerian Muslims. Established to ensure a seamless and organized pilgrimage experience, NAHCON is committed to upholding transparency, fairness, and accountability in its operations”, Fatima assured.

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