By Salisu Sani-Idris
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) says it will ensure adequate security and welfare of intending Nigerian pilgrims in the 2017 hajj.
The executive chairman of the commission, Alhaji Abdullahi Muhammad, announced this on Friday in Abuja when he hosted some students of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
Represented by Dr Bello Tambuwal, secretary to the commission, he said the general welfare of pilgrims was paramount to the commission as the regulatory body for Hajj and Umrah operations.
Muhammad assured the intending pilgrims that the commission would ensure that the 2017 hajj operation would be better than the previous pilgrimages.
He also said the commission would introduce some items of Nigerian food to Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.
“Taking somebody out for more than 35 days who is used to taking his or her local food to another environment where such food items are not available could be challenging,’’ he said.
He observed that an arrangement for religious tourism such as hajj was not easy because it would involve plans to take care of the interests and welfare of the person travelling.
He, however, said the Saudi Authority had directed the commission to conclude all arrangements and logistics for 2017 hajj operation by June for efficiency.
Mr Ikukoyi Ibrahim, a lecturer at Tourism Department of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, who led the tour, said the aim was to let the students know more about the operations of the commission.