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2024 Hajj: NAHCON reaffirms 40 approved tour operators

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Nearly two weeks after it suspended allocation of hajj seats to 40 private tour operators that were initially screened to participate in 2024 exercise, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has lifted the ban while the initial qualification of the operators upheld.

In a statement issued yesterday by the Assistant Director, Public Affairs of NAHCON, Fatima Sandra Usara, the commission noted that “the qualified companies convincingly met the laid down criteria vis-à-vis capacity of operation; years of experience; historical antecedents; and clean bill of operation.

Accordingly, the selection of the 40 companies is affirmed to be impartial, aligning with established criteria.”
It would be recalled that December 13, 2023, NAHCON paused allocation of Hajj seats to Private Tour Operators following some complaints it received over selection of the 40 operators approved to run the 2024 Hajj under the private sector.

In the spirit of inclusivity and receptiveness, according to Usara, NAHCON granted the complainants the benefit of doubt by conducting investigation into their petitions, explaining that “at the end of the probe, NAHCON and other stakeholders are convinced and pleased to announce that the objections raised were not sufficient to overturn the qualification of the 40 approved operators for the 2024 Hajj. The qualified companies convincingly met the laid down criteria.”

She hinted further that the remaining 70 successful companies have already proceeded with mergers alongside the approved 40.

Usara said, “In its statutory role as the supervisor, NAHCON has urged the companies entering into agreements to forward to the Commission copies of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and other legal documents binding them into the business for perusal and documentation. NAHCON remains committed in carrying all its stakeholders along.”

As a result, NAHCON Chairman, Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi has reassured intending pilgrims for 2024 hajj that leadership of the commission is determined to ensure that the 2024 Hajj fare remains within the N4,500,000 threshold and not above.

While appreciating the support of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Vice President Kashim Shettima in bolstering hope of the Commission’s primary clients, the pilgrims, as well as all other stakeholders. Malam Arabi revealed that NAHCON would announce the final Hajj fare as soon as it finalizes negotiations with service providers and other relevant government agencies involved in Hajj matters.

-Guardian Nigeria

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