The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria said over 70 percent of its engagements rely on digital systems, particularly in the light of Saudi Arabia’s digital shift.
Chairman of NAHCON, Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi, made the revelation on Thursday in a statement by the commission.
The disclosure, according to the statement signed by Fatima Sanda Usara, the Commission’s Assistant Director, Public Affairs, was made during Arabi’s courtesy call to the office of Galaxy Backbone, the Commission’s ICT service providers, to consolidate the service provision.
The visit was necessitated due to the recent network glitches that stalled access to the National Medical Team advertisement released on Wednesday.
To this end, the exercise was scheduled to inform GBB management about the anticipated surge in traffic in preparation for the season’s Hajj, especially in relation to application portals, as well as to ensure that proactive measures are taken to prevent any disruption in connectivity as preparations heat up.
The NAHCON boss, during the visit, stressed the need for the Hajj body to stay ahead.
He, therefore, urged GBB to prevent bandwidth overload for seamless accessibility.
Usara said Arabi highlighted to the GBB management of the time constraint the Commission has found itself, which has put it in a tight corner, hence, has little option of tolerating hitches that would affect meeting of deadlines.
The Acting Managing Director of GBB, AbdulMalik Suleiman, in his response agreed with the NAHCON Chairman, assuring that the firm was up to the task.
He reaffirmed the NAHCON’s status as a premium client and a representative of Nigeria’s international image in foreign fields; therefore, care must be taken in such circumstances.
Suleiman said: “He made a commitment to elevate GBB’s services to the Commission to prevent downtime on the NAHCON portal to promote seamless operations.
“The MD assured that the data centre is secured and runs uninterrupted, plus it is resilient against cyber threats, promising a comprehensive review of all services to maintain constant accessibility to NAHCON’s website.”
In a related development, Malam Arabi and his team visited the Nigeria Immigration Service to secure passport availability in preparation for the year’s pilgrimage, recognising the significance of international passport usage in fulfilling the Hajj Commission’s mandate.
The Chairman described the NIS as a partner in the mandate, calling for a desk officer to be assigned to every State Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards to attend to any issues that would arise immediately.
Arabi stressed that this is essential as Saudi Arabia has set timelines to each activity, hence NAHCON cannot afford to lag behind.
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In her response, the NIS Comptroller General, Caroline Wuraola Adepoju, represented by DCG Usman Babangida of the Human Resources Management Directorate, assured that the NIS is always ready to render services to NAHCON round the clock in the interest of the nation.
He restated that he and his team members, especially ACG A. R. Sabo, who is in charge of passports, gave his number for immediate contact whenever there were problems.
DCG Babangida assured that his team would make it a priority to address issues raised by NAHCON as critical stakeholders in its operations.