Buhari Tasks NAHCON On Corruption | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Buhari Tasks NAHCON On Corruption

Posted: Jul 1, 2015 at 4:52 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

•Approves Airlines For 2015 Hajj Operations

By Chesa Chesa, Abuja

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has directed the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to urgently clean up Hajj and Umrah operations with a view to restoring sanity and credibility in the yearly pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia.

He gave the order against the background of reports of unethical practices that have characterised the operations.

Chairman of NAHCON, Abdullahi Mohammed Mukhtar, informed newsmen of the presidential directive on Wednesday July 1, 2015 after he led some of his officials to brief ?Buhari on preparations for this year’s hajj operations.

Muktar said apart from directing NAHCON to comply with all the regulations of the host country, Saudi Arabia, the President also approved the programmes and activities lined up for the 2015 pilgrimage as well airlines to convey pilgrims to and from Saudi Arabia.

“Mr. President directed NAHCON to ensure inter-agency collaboration between the Commission and all other relevant agencies to address the challenges and menace of corrupt-related practices that have to do with Hajj and Umrah and this we will face head-on until we bring it to a standstill,” he stated.

The NAHCON boss explained the corrupt practices by citing instances of prospective pilgrims who pay for services that are not eventually rendered or encounter aborted pilgrimages.

According to him: “in some cases, even they don’t have the chance to perform the hajj or Umrah at all and their money is gone.

“There are illegal operators that are not licensed to carry out the activities of either Umrah or Hajj, yet such people still play around and carry out the activities with impunity, so all these will be addressed.”

Muktar listed the airlines approved by the President to be used in conveying pilgrims for hajj this year as Max Air, Medview Airlines, Kabo Air, Donnier Aviation, Planet Air, Skypower Express, Top Brass and Hak Air.

He disclosed that the list of airlines would soon be sent to states for them to make their choices, a development, which further confirms that preparation for the 2015 pilgrimage has reached top gear.

On the number of slots allocated for 2015 pilgrimage, Muktar said it still remained 66,000 for state governments while 10,000 slots were approved for private tour operators.

He declined to disclose the fees payable by prospective pilgrims for 2015, insisting he would later address the media on that.

On the need for autonomy of commission, he said, “we are working towards that, and of course. You know it something that will require a time lag for the commission to comply with the directive and we have all put on our thinking cap to work towards compliance and I’m sure at appropriate time we will address the press on that too.”