NATIONAL HAJJ Commission
of Nigeria, NAHCON, says it has
received a better reception by
the Saudi Ministry of Hajj after
President Muhammadu Buhari’s
state visit to the Kingdom.
The NAHCON Executive
Chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi
Mukhtar, disclosed this on Friday
in an interview with the News
Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in
Abuja.
Mukhtar said that Nigerian
pilgrims would enjoy a better
deal this year due to the combined
benefits of Buhari visit as well
as efforts of the commission and
other stakeholders.
It will be recalled that after
completion of talks with the Saudi
Arabian Government, Buhari
directed the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and NAHCON to negotiate
with the Saudi Authority to resolve
all outstanding issues relating to
the 2015 hajj.
Mukhtar, who said that the
presidential order had been
carried out thoroughly, described
the Buhari’s state visits “as fruitful
and a blessing to the commission”.
“NAHCON and Nigerians
received a better reception by
the Saudi Ministry of Hajj after
Buhari’s visit and all the issues
that the president directed for
resolution had been addressed.
“The issue of the 35 missing
pilgrims, whose DNA had been
submitted to Saudi Government,
three had been confirmed dead of
which two are from Kano state and
one from the FCT.
“Their state pilgrim boards
have been notified and the death
certificates had been released to
them for onward conveyance to the
family members of the deceased.
“These are all good things
that come out of the Presidential
directive by the President which
coincided with his own state visit.
“The Saudi government has
also given assurance of easing
the difficulties faced by pilgrims
during their stay in Mina by
bringing them closer to the
Jamrat,” Mukhtar said.
He said that due to prediction
that Hajj seasons would fall in
hot weathers for some years, the
Saudi Arabia government would
improve the cooling system in
the tents and extend it to the
camps too.
“We have been appealing that
there should be rotation of the
accommodation so that we can
be given accommodation closer
to the Jamrat, the area that the
symbolic stoning of the devil is
being carried out.
“For the first time the Saudi
Ministry of Hajj has accepted
to look into that request and I
believe that is also a takeaway
from the Presidential state visit,”
he added.
Similarly, the chairman said
Saudi had promised to replace
over 4,000 old buses in their fleet
for 2016 operation with buses of
2008 generation upward.
He also said that the issue of
compensation for the victims
of crane collapse was in
progress, assuring that “once
we received the money we will
notify the families of the victims
accordingly


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