Nigeria: NAHCON Urges Saudi Arabia to Employ Nigerians for Pilgrims’ Services


The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has requested Saudi Arabia’s United Agents to employ Nigerians legally resident in the kingdom as part of the workforce serving Nigerian pilgrims during Hajj.

The chairman of the commission, Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad, made the request at a meeting with United Agents in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, according to a statement by NAHCON’s head of public affairs, Fatima Sanda Usara.

Barrister Muhammad said employing Nigerians in the kingdom would ease communication between the pilgrims and the Arab-speaking agents.

These legal residents have an identifiable umbrella through which they can be located, he said.

Responding, the chairman of the United Agents, Mr. Faruq Yahaya Buhari, said there was no objection to the request as long as the commission could vouch for the people to be employed.

However, he warned that anyone that would be involved must have the temperament to be patient with pilgrims and to also be cautious of tardiness.

“This is because a few minutes delay in the timetable could lead to disruption of flight schedules of other countries. Hence, NAHCON must take note of this,” he said.

In another development, Mr. Buhari elaborated on the ‘Makkah Road Project’ designed to hasten immigration screening and to reduce congestion experienced in Saudi airports.

He explained that Saudi immigration personnel would temporarily relocate to departure centres of countries signatory to the agreement to conduct the pre-arrival screening.

“All passengers successfully screened are expected to travel together in a uniformed attire, the same aircraft, arrive the same time and be moved in the same buses to the same accommodation facility,” he said.

“Similarly, their luggage should be of same colour code for easy identification so that they will be ferried right up to their lodging reservations without mix-ups. And where two states must travel in the same plane, they must be in different colours for their separate dispatching,” he added.

Also introduced for 2019 Hajj are train services to Madinah, especially for Licensed Tour Operators’ pilgrims who arrive the kingdom late, at a time when buses are scarce.

For this, any such pilgrim who arrives the kingdom by 25th /26th of Dhul Qa’ada has the option of traveling to Madinah by electric rail and be received at the arrival station by agents who will take them to their Hotel reservations. Any operator interested in this arrangement is urged to indicate interest accordingly.

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Publish date : 2018-12-28 12:06:37

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