The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has demanded refunds from the Saudi Arabian government over alleged poor services rendered to pilgrimages from the country during the 2023 Hajj.
This was made by the Chairman of the commission who said the Nigerian government is displeased with the feedings and other services rendered to the country’s pilgrims during the just concluded religious rites in Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifa.
At least 95,000 Nigerian pilgrims made it to hajj in 2023, as it was the first time in years that Nigeria was issued such number of slots.
At a meeting in the Middle East coutntry, the Chairman, National Hajj Commission Zikhrullah Kunle Hassan expressed displeasure at the Motawif’s allocation of a 43,000-capacity for ninety five thousand, which forced pilgrims to stay outside under harsh weather conditions.
He urged Saudi Authorities to refund the money the commission paid for food affirming that the commission would be writing a formal letter requesting for it.
The Saudi Authorities on their part promised to collate and review complaints made by the National Hajj Commission, TVC News reports.
They assured Nigerian Hajj Commission that the Company will come up with a suitable solution that will be accepted by both parties in order to have successful hajj in the future.
SaharaReproters in June reported how pilgrims from Adamawa, Zamfara and Bauchi States were disgruntled in Medina, Saudi Arabia, following the alleged inability of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to provide either food or bed spaces to them.
SaharaReporters had learnt that the pilgrims from the aforementioned states were yet to be provided accommodation or proper feeding, despite paying N2,890,000 into the coffers of NAHCON.
One of the pilgrims who do not want to be identified had told SaharaReporters that, “There’s problem with NAHCON ,the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria. Pilgrims are presently groaning over poor feeding and lack of accommodation in Medina.
“Those affected include Bauchi, Zamfara and Adamawa and no one knows when it will change.”
Another pilgrim had narrated, “It is the sole responsibility of NAHCON, not state, to feed Pilgrims throughout their stay in Medina. As we speak now, the breakfast of Zamfara Pilgrims arrived in their hotel around 1pm, while dinner, which usually comes around 8:00am arrived around 11pm, when most of the pilgrims had gone to sleep.
“In the case of Adamawa, there was no arrangement of feeding since arrival of pilgrims on Monday and most of us were scattered across hotels, forced to mix with other state pilgrims and some are finding it difficult to secure a bed space.
“This was the same scenario that played out last year, despite the huge amount of money paid for this year’s pilgrimage. The services rendered are not commensurate with the amount paid by each pilgrim.
“We are therefore calling on the NAHCON chairman to intervene to avoid unnecessary breakdown of law and order in the Holy Land.”