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Nigeria, Saudi Sign MOU On 2024 Hajj

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The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Saudi Arabia in a move to solidify seamless Hajj in 2024.

The MoU was signed in Jeddah on Sunday in the presence of Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Yusuf Tuggar, and the acting Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Jalal Arabi.

This was made known on Sunday, in a document signed by NAHCON’s Assistant Director of Public Affairs, Fatima Usara.

INSTANTNEWS reports that Nigerian pilgrims faced numerous challenges including lack of adequate tent accommodation at Mina and Arafat; substandard tents with unhealthy living conditions and environment; lack of proper medical attention to pilgrims in cases of emergency; and lack of proper transportation, among others.

INSTANTNEWS also reported that the House of Representatives ordered a probe into the matter and also mandated “The Committee on Pilgrims Affairs (when constituted) to conduct a detailed investigation into the several anomalies that emanated from the 2023 Hajj and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.”

The NAHCON statement read, “Today, 7 January 7, 2024, Nigeria under the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, solidified its commitment to a seamless Hajj exercise by signing the 2024 (1445AH) Hajj Memorandum of Understanding with the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

“The signing ceremony held in Jeddah had in attendance key representatives from Nigeria led by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, and Jalal Arabi, Ag. Chairman/CEO of NAHCON. The host country’s contingent was led by the Saudi Arabian Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Taufiq Al-Rabiah”.

“Prior to the MoU signing, the two Ministers held a brief discussion where Ambassador Yusuf requested for a lasting solution to the shortage of tents in Mina and pressed for more favourable terms for Nigerian Carriers during Hajj airlifts. The Nigerian team also invited the Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah to visit Nigeria.”

In response, the Saudi minister, Rabiah, acknowledged the challenge of space in Mina and assured Nigerian authorities that “efforts are being made to maximise the use of the available two million square metres for the over two million pilgrims performing Hajj annually”.

He expressed the ministry’s support for all measures to give pilgrims the best services. Rabiah agreed to visit Nigeria soon.

Other participants from Nigeria include the Nigerian Consul-General in Jeddah, Bello Hussaini Kazaure, senior officers from the Nigerian Mission in Saudi Arabia and NAHCON.


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