EFFORTS of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to reduce the cost of hajj has received a major boost from a group of accommodation and catering service providers in Saudi Arabia who have pledged to bring down the costs of their services.
Reports from the information and publication division of the organization indicated that the service providers visited NAHCON’s office in Makkah on Monday, where they pledged support for the commission’s effort to reduce hajj fare and increase the number of pilgrims from Nigeria.
The group expressed its desire to work with the commission to ensure that Nigerian pilgrims pay less for the same quality of services rendered in the past.
Earlier, the chairman of the commission, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, while addressing the group, called on all stakeholders to unite for the achievement of the objective of the reduction of hajj fare and improved welfare for Nigerian pilgrims.
He said the resolve of the board to reduce the 2020 hajj fare was consistent with the yearnings and aspirations of the government and the people.
“Our board intends to achieve at least 10 per cent reduction and to match expectations with reality. The entire staff members of the commission have adopted this single declaration. Therefore, we are all committed to achieving the declaration,” Alhaji Hassan said.
He stated that the commission would ensure that pilgrims and service providers are happy with the effort as it would guarantee a higher turnout of pilgrims with attendant profits for them.
“I am here to ensure that you and the pilgrims are happy this year and even in the future by accepting to reduce the cost of accommodation and other services. We, therefore, need your support to do this,” he added.
Speaking in the same vein, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Bulkachuwa, praised the commission’s decision and expressed the support of the National Assembly for the initiative.
“We are proud of NAHCON. We know that all eyes are on you now both from the government and the people, especially with the change of baton of the leadership. The expectations are very high but be assured that the Senate is quite solidly behind you in this task. Whatever may be your obstacle, we are ready to assist you to surmount it if not for anything but do it for the sake of Allah,” Senator Bulkachuwa said.