The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON has expressed optimism on the 2021 Hajj with high hopes that Nigerians will participate, assuring intending pilgrims Muslims that as soon as the Saudi Arabia authority communicates new guidelines on Hajj and Umrah, the Commission will take appropriate actions in the interest of Nigerian intending pilgrims.
NAHCON in a statement issued and signed by the Head, Public Affairs, Hajia Fatima Sanda Usara, said: “The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, joins millions of Muslims from all over the world in sharing the optimism that lies beneath the news of Saudi Arabia lifting its suspension on international travels. As a people of faith saddled with the responsibility of managing Hajj and Umrah travels from Nigeria, the news holds glad tidings for those hoping to embark on Hajj and Umrah from Nigeria.
“Even as we look forward with high hopes on the possibility of the larger Muslim community performing Hajj and Umrah in 2021, NAHCON will continue to await further directives from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in reverence to the Kingdom’s divinely bestowed role as the custodians of the two holy mosques and its domain. The Commission continues to commend and trust the Kingdom for its courage in taking difficult decisions in the interest of world Muslims even where the unfavorable effect of such decisions is borne by the Kingdom itself.
Reacting to the call by Civil Society Organisation CSO to give registration guidelines on the 2021 Hajj adaptable to the current process in Saudi Arabia amid the current wave of Covid-19, the commision stated that it is awaiting directive from the Kingdom on new guidelines, but urged States and Licensed Operators to continue with the normal registration while observing COVID-19 protocols in order to curtail the spread of the pandemic.
“NAHCON assures Nigerian Muslims that as soon as the Saudi Arabia authority communicates new guidelines on Hajj and Umrah, the Commission will not hesitate in taking the appropriate actions in the interest of Nigerian intending pilgrims.
“In the meantime, the Commission urges intending pilgrims, states and other Hajj and Umrah licensed operators to continue with normal preparations and registration while exercising patience until clear directives are released by Saudi Arabia. While doing so, all intending pilgrims and state officials are reminded to observe COVID-19 protocols in order to curtail the spread of the pandemic especially under this second wave.
“The Commission, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Federal Ministry of Health represented by NAHCON’s board member representing the Ministry, Pham Zainab Ujudud Shariff are already mapping out strategic guidelines on COVID-19 preventive measures relative to safeguarding Nigerian pilgrims from harm during large gatherings customary to Hajj preparations.
“At this juncture, NAHCON also wishes to remind all intending pilgrims for Hajj that registration for 2021 Hajj will continue on the normal platform on e-Hajj portals under state pilgrims’ boards/agencies /commissions, while those wishing to pay against 2022 and beyond are advised to utilize the Hajj Savings Scheme platform.