The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has airlifted 69,505 Nigerian pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia out of the 73,000 pilgrims, leaving 3,495 pilgrims to be airlifted.
This was contained in the latest 2023 Hajj Airlift Update released by the Commission on Wednesday afternoon.
According to the update, 540 Kano State pilgrims and five officials departed Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano at 3:30pm aboard Max Air aircraft on Wednesday.
On board of the flight were 319 males and 221 females.
With this development, NAHCON has airlifted to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 69,505 Nigerian pilgrims via 167 flights.
This represents 95 per cent airlift of pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Suleiman Momoh, Commissioner of Planning,Research, Statistics, Information and Library Science, stated on Tuesday in Abuja, while addressing journalists on the airlift progress, that NAHCON had completed airlift of pilgrims from 29 states.
Momoh added that airlift of pilgrims from the remaining states was ongoing.
He said: “The flights are now back to back.
“And like l have assured you, by 24th of this month, every pilgrim, including the management of NAHCON, will be in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“This is a very big achievement for our country.
“There are so many other countries in the world who have even less allocation but they are unable to meet up as we speak.”
Speaking further, Sheikh Momoh said all the clinics in Makkah and Madinah were fully operational.
He said: “They are doing very beautifully well attending to pilgrims, old and young.
“The drugs and medical equipment are in abundance that we have for the Nigerian pilgrims.
“Our desired goal is to ensure that Nigerian pilgrims have the best of it.
“We hope to bring them back safely to Nigeria in sha Allah at the end of the exercise.
“We are providing excellent medical health services to all pilgrims of this country because the life of every Nigerian is of paramount importance to us.”
On the total number of pilgrims, Sheikh Momoh said there were 73,000 pilgrims and 2,000 officials and management.
He explained there were medical and media personnel, ulama (Islamic scholars), NAHCON staff and members of various committees.
“We are more concerned about the pilgrims even though significant number of officials have gone already to Saudi Arabia,” he stated.