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Reps  Probes  National Hajj Commission Over 2024 Pilgrimage Alleged  Mismanagement

The House of Representatives on Thursday, resolved to establish an ad-hoc committee to investigate the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) regarding the conduct of the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage. 

This decision followed the adoption of a motion presented by Mr. Mohammed Bio, the representative of Baruten/Kaiama Federal Constituency, Kwara State, during the plenary session held on Tuesday.

The motion, titled “Urgent Need to Investigate the National Hajj Commission and the Federal Capital Territory Administration Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, their Agents, and Sub-Agents over Shoddy Arrangement and Treatment of Nigerian Pilgrims in the 2024 Hajj Exercise,” was brought to the floor as a matter of urgent public importance.

The motion  highlighted several deficiencies in the management and execution of the 2024 Hajj exercise, sparking widespread concern among lawmakers.

Following the motion’s adoption, the House condemned the performance of NAHCON and the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board in the 2024 Hajj exercise.

 It also called for an investigation into the activities of NAHCON and the FCTA Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, including their agents and sub-agents.

The Speaker of the House, Tajudeen Abbas, announced the formation of the ad-hoc committee and appointed Sada Soli, the member representing Jibia/Kaita Federal Constituency, Katsina State, as the committee chairman.

 The committee has been tasked with probing the alleged mismanagement and is expected to report back to the House within two weeks for further legislative action.

Describing Hajj as a crucial religious obligation and one of the five pillars of Islam, Bio expressed dismay over the treatment of Nigerian pilgrims during the 2024 exercise.

 He revealed that approximately 50,865 Muslim pilgrims from various Nigerian states were under NAHCON’s care. 

However, many pilgrims reportedly experienced inadequate welfare, poor organisation, and insufficient guidance and monitoring.

Bio said  that despite the substantial payments made by pilgrims and the significant budgetary allocations, including a N90 billion intervention from the Federal Government and support from the Saudi Arabian Government, NAHCON and the FCTA Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board underperformed, particularly in Makkah and Mina.

Bio cautioned that if the subpar performance of NAHCON is not thoroughly investigated and addressed, future Hajj exercises could face greater complications, potentially tarnishing Nigeria’s reputation in the international community.

The ad-hoc committee’s investigation aims to identify the shortcomings and ensure that future Hajj exercises are better managed, thereby safeguarding the welfare and dignity of Nigerian pilgrims. 

 

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