The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), on Monday, said it was set to commence transportation of prospective pilgrims to Saudi Arabia on Aug. 23.
The Permanent Amirul Hajj, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, made the disclosure at a stakeholders meeting organised by the Commission in Abuja.
He said that the meeting was part of preparations before the commencement of Hajj.
The Sultan said the meeting always availed the various stakeholders and Federal Government delegates the opportunity to brainstorm before the commencement of the airlift of the intending pilgrims.
He urged the Commission to be proactive rather than being reactive to issues arising from the operations for a hitch-free exercise.
Abubakar asked Nigerians to pray for the prospective pilgrims for a successful journey to the Holy Land and back to the country.
In a remark, the Chairman of the Commission, Malam Abdullahi Mukhtar, promised to carry all the stakeholders along.
He said the Commission was ready to take advice and suggestions from stakeholders at all times.
He added that “it is our belief in the Commission that the success of Hajj is not for one person alone; therefore, all hands must be on deck for a successful exercise.
“The operations are dynamic and cannot be done by one agency or person; It involves the cooperation and support of everyone to make it work,’’ he said.
He said that the continuous support and cooperation enjoyed by the Commission from stakeholders was behind the successes recorded so far.
Mukhtar promised to consolidate on the good work done by his predecessor in order to take the Commission to greater heights.
“We also need the support and cooperation given to the first and second board of the Commission so that we do not fail.
“Our focus on the third board is to ensure improved service delivery to our pilgrims.’’
The chairman said that the Commission was working toward financial autonomy in order to stand on its feet.
“It is our belief that Hajj should always be made easy for Muslims to perform.
“The Muslim Ummah should, therefore, come together to see how this can be sustained for the better.’’
Mukhtar said that the Commission had already sent its policies and programmes to stakeholders in order for them to see where it was heading to, and to enable them to make corrections.
He added that “we have done enlightenment progranmmes on NTA International and FRCN Network with a view to educating all those involved in Hajj operations.
Meanwhile, the first batch in the transportation of prospective pilgrims would be inaugurated in Kaduna State on Aug. 23.