The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, HAHCON, said it has begun the process to ensure that Muslims preparing for the Lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia are lifted to the country at the pointed time.
Recall that the Saudi Arabian General Authority for Civil Aviation, GACA, had on the 8th of December 2021, announced the suspension of flights from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia.
Though no reason(s) was given in the circular, it may not be unconnected with the manifestation of the COVID-19 omicron variant in Nigeria.
NAHCON is the Commission responsible for facilitating Hajj and Umrah journeys from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia.
The Commission said it has immediately engaged networking strategies with sister agencies for the purpose of convincing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to end Nigeria’s flight suspension into its territory.
A statement to DAILY POST from the Commission said, ” In accordance with the strategy, NAHCON Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, on Monday paid a follow-up visit to the Nigerian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada in his office.
The meeting, according to the Commission, was to consolidate the initiatives already deployed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs towards ending the impasse.
NAHCON Chairman commended the Ministry for its consistent push for an inroad into the matter considering that many Muslims have paid for the ongoing Umrah pilgrimage and traditionally, the numbers rise during Ramadan lesser Hajj.
The Chairman expressed hope that the suspension would be lifted in time to enable Nigerians participate in the 2022 Hajj if it would be open for foreign pilgrims.
Furthermore, Hassan lauded the efforts of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 towards curtailing the spread of the virus, which has led to the conviction of other countries that had hitherto banned Nigeria and some Southern African countries for similar reasons to rescind their decision.
In his reaction, Amb. Dada disclosed optimism on the matter, expressing hope that a positive response would soon emanate from Saudi Arabia.