IHR commends NAHCON, airlines for seamless airlift

Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR) have commended the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) officials from the 36 states and the airlines involved in the airlift of this year’s pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for a seamless exercise so far.

“About 95% of intending pilgrims have so far been airlifted to Saudi Arabia by the selected airlines with little or no incident and this is most commendable,” IHR said in a statement weekend  by its national coordinator, Ibrahim Mohammed.

The CSO also said, “Commendation must particularly go to the states for always mobilising their pilgrims to camp ahead of their trip which is a departure from the past. We urge all concerned to continue in that regard.”

IHR said the decision by Saudi authorities to force countries to process visas for their pilgrims and sign service contracts way ahead of time also helped the cause of this year’s Hajj airlift.

The CSO called on the officials to double their efforts and tackle recurring challenges, especially with the quality and quantity of food being served to pilgrims. There were numerous complaints of “insufficient ration of food and poor quality by pilgrims. NAHCON and states need an all-inclusive proactive approach to solve the problem. 

It also called for a faster process of allocating bed spaces to pilgrims in both Makkah and Madinah. 

“After spending some time at hajj transit camps and flying for about 5-6 hours, it is not good for pilgrims to be made to wait for a long time to be allocated bed spaces, the whole idea of sending an advanced team of officials is to ensure issues such as these do not occur. All involved should therefore up the ante and do the needful,” IHR said.