Barely 3 days to the Arafat slated for Friday, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said over 37,000 Nigerian pilgrims are already in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj exercise.
The Saudi authorities allocated 43,008 to Nigeria out of which NAHCON allocated 33, 976 to states and 9, 032 to private tour operators.
NAHCON disclosed that out of its 33,976, 30,048 pilgrims were already in Saudi Arabia.
The Commission stated this Tuesday in a statement by its Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Fatima Sanda Usara in Abuja.
According to the statement, Private Tour Operators had also airlifted about 7,000 of the pilgrims to the Holy land.
Cumulatively, over 37,048 Nigerian pilgrims out of the 43,008 are already in Saudi Arabia.
The commission said its rescue operation would ensure the uplift of the 6,000 intending pilgrims before the deadline, an exercise to be supervised by the commission’s chairman, Zikirullah Kunle Hassan.
NAHCON assured that the remaining pilgrims would be airlifted to Saudi Arabia as soon as possible.
The statement partly reads: “After 73 flights into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from Nigeria for the 2022 Hajj, a total of 29,128 pilgrims are safe in Makkah.
“Similarly, 920 officials have been transported within the airlift period. Most pilgrims have been moved to Makkah in preparation for Arafat that will take place on Friday, 10th July.
“From the Private Tour Operators, 8620 visas have been processed. About seven thousand of the intending pilgrims are currently in Saudi Arabia. In addition, NAHCON and the leadership of the Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators in Nigeria (AHOUN) assure that all LTO pilgrims will be flown out of Nigeria before 12 midnight.
“The rescue operation will be conducted in Abuja, Lagos, and Kano. FlyNas will provide three aircraft while Kam Air, another Saudi Airline, has been contacted on standby in case there is a need to deploy another aircraft”.
The commission directed all tour operators to call; Nasiru Chamo, 08069776880- Kano zone, Alhaji Haruna Ismael, 0806000190 – Kano Zone, Alh Mansur, 08035043330- Abuja zone, Alh Kazeem, 0802 304 8180- Lagos zone and Alhaji Abdulhakeem Olanigan, 07062220505- Lagos to coordinate the the the movement of the pilgrims.
NAHCON urged the affected pilgrims to assemble at the agreed location for screening and consequent conveyance to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage.
“Similarly, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria is determined and assured all intending pilgrims that NAHCON will not leave any pilgrim behind God willing. The Chairman will remain behind to ensure that no one is disenfranchised,” the statement further added.