NAHCON chair announces suspension of staff allowances

The Chairman/CEO of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi, Thursday stated the tight financial situation  the commission finds itself and sought the understanding of members of staff at a zoom meeting on offshore.

A statement by the NAHCON Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Hajiya Fatima Sanda Usara, said the chairman stated that due to financial constraints, certain allowances peculiar to NAHCON staff will remain suspended for the time being.

The assistant director further said: “Financial downturn that impacted many aspects of the 2024 hajj operations did not leave out the payment of NAHCON staff stipend for the hajj operations. NAHCON regrets the situation knowing how exerting hajj operations are to staff and their families. Due to these financial constraints, certain allowances peculiar to NAHCON staff will remain suspended for the time being.

“Despite this challenging situation, the commission remains hopeful that as conditions improve, staff allowances may be reassessed even if it were a minimal increase. However, this time around, staff will be given the option of returning to Nigeria after putting 21 days of service if they opt to return.

“The NAHCON chairman, Malam Jalal Arabi, communicated the situation to staff on offshore assignment via zoom meeting where he stated the tight situation that the commission finds itself and sought their understanding. It was same condition that led NAHCON to request for medical volunteerism by National Medical Team members. Similarly, allowances of all operational committee members: including Media Team, Ulama, Security and other Stakeholders remain affected due to budgetary limitations.

“The chairman solicited maximum support and cooperation of all concerned, fully aware that not all will be happy with this drastic departure from the past. However, the reality reflects the situation in which the whole country finds itself.

“For the same factor, not all staff members were deployed for the offshore assignment. Normally, staff deployment for the offshore operations is staggered due to the nature of tasks they are expected to perform. While the commission would have preferred to travel with all its staff to facilitate easier coordination, the current financial circumstances necessitated difficult decisions to ensure the viability of the operations.”