Malam Jalal Arabi, the acting Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, says he will leave no stone unturned to change the narrative of hajj affairs and administration in the country.
The Chairman made the assertion when he received a delegation of Arewa New Agenda on Friday in Abuja.
He also restated the commitment of the commission to deliver a hitch-free 2024 Hajj to the delegation led by Senator Ahmed Abubakar, adding that preparations for the 2024 Hajj operation were on course.
Arabi emphasised the need for prospective pilgrims 2024 to pay up the hajj fare to beat the Saudi Arabia deadline.
He said: “We will not pride ourselves on having the magic wand, but I’m sure with your support and the backing of the staff, I know it is doable.
“We will succeed.
“I know it is a daunting challenge but it is not insurmountable.”
The NAHCON boss, however, urged the group to enlighten the public on the new Saudi Arabia rule which makes it mandatory for Hajj Missions to remit their money and the number of pilgrims into the E-track portal at the earliest.
Arabi said: We want you to help us tell the people and the world that unlike what obtained in the past, money must be paid before December 31, 2023 to enable us to procure and pay for services and visa in Saudi Arabia.
“Please encourage them to go and deposit as the host (Saudi Arabia) is very serious about their timeline.
“Now 50 days before the Arafat, there will no longer be visa issuance.
“Therefore any state that did not turn in the payments and the number of pilgrims who have paid by December 31 will not be able to make it.
“We don’t want to be caught napping and so we will be very strict and resolute with the timeline.”
The Chairman urged state pilgrims welfare boards to intensify awareness campaigns to enlighten the pilgrims on the new trend.
According to him, strengthening the enlightenment campaign will go a long way to ginger and encourage prospective intending pilgrims to make their deposit on time.
Arabi added: “This will also contribute to the actualisation of the dream of organising a hitch-free Hajj.”
Earlier, Abubakar said the team’s visit was informed by the need to express their support for the Chairman.
This, according to him, is with a view to achieving success in his assignment.
Abubakar said: “We are here to lend our support and solidarity to you.
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“We know all eyes of Nigerians are on you and we also understand the challenges revolving around hajj administration.
“Much as we know it is a litmus test, we have the confidence and trust in your ability to make the success of the job, just as you have done in your previous assignments.”
In their goodwill messages, Dr. Abdul Isiaq and Dr. Salisu Mohammed congratulated Arabi on his appointment, expressing their trust and confidence in his ability to achieve success.