By Adamu Yusuf
The Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) that monitors and reports on Hajj and Umrah activities, has congratulated the newly appointed Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Jalal Arabi, on his appointment to head the Hajj regulatory body in Nigeria.
IHR, in a statement on Thursday signed by its National Coordinator, Malam Ibrahim Mohammed, also commended the immediate past board of NAHCON headed by Barrister Zikirullah Kunle Hassan for services rendered to Nigerian pilgrims despite challenges.
“As a seasoned civil servant, the new NAHCON helmsman comes onboard with a technocratic experience which we believe will come to bear as he assumes duty.
“We also note that the new chairman is coming into office at the right time with a timeline of activities regarding Hajj 2024, just picking up.
“We urge that he hits the ground running by continuing where the last board stopped by ensuring prompt registration of intending pilgrims and engagement of capable service providers for Hajj 2024,” IHR said.
Furthermore, we urged the new Chairman to immediately mobilise needed tools to launch a massive public enlightenment to educate 2024 intending pilgrims on the short time available for registration for the 2024 hajj pilgrimage with emphasis on states to queue in for maximum reach.
The CSO also added that as a retired Permanent Secretary in the Federal Civil Service, it expects the new NAHCON Chairman to put in place a comprehensive and sustainable Hajj policy that focuses on efficient service delivery for Nigerian pilgrims and see to its implementation at every stage.
IHR, while commending the immediate past board of the commission for doing well despite numerous challenges, particularly paid tribute to the Zikirullah Kunle Hassan board for the take-off of the Hajj Savings Scheme and the Hajj Institute of Nigeria.
The CSO stressed that “while we wish the incoming CEO a successful tenure of office, we call on him to work in harmony with the State Pilgrims Boards and Agencies as well as Tour Operators to see to the successful registration of pilgrims and the implementation of the Road Map to Hajj 2024, as encapsulated in the programmes and policies being implemented by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah towards Hajj 2024.