Hajj: Senate seeks involvement of states, FCT in airlines’ selection 

The Senate Wednesday passed for second reading an amendment bill on the establishment Act of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria ((NAHCON), to pave way for involvement of states and the   Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the selection of airlines for hajj operations.

It also seeks for involvement of states Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards in feeding of pilgrims in Madina and Masha’ir under the regulation of NAHCON.

Senate’s move in this direction was sequel to arguments canvassed by Senator Abbas Aminu Iya (PDP Adamawa Central) in his lead debate on the bill which seeks for the amendments.

Senator Abbas in the lead debate informed the Senate that NAHCON was established in 2006 to serve as regulatory agency on Muslim pilgrims overseeing activities of states, Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards, FCT and Tour agents.

He queried the practice which allows states Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards handle accommodation and feeding of their pilgrims in Mecca while NAHCON handles accommodation and feeding of all pilgrims in Madina and Masha’ir (Mina and Arafat).

He said it creates many inconveniences to pilgrims and affects NAHCON’s effective regulatory function.

Senator Abbas also drew attention of the Senators to a practice he described as being in variant with regulatory role of NAHCON by screening airline companies to qualify them for airlift of pilgrims and go further to allocate the airlines to states.