Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Zikrullah Olakunle Hassan, says the commission is optimistic that the 2020 Hajj exercise will hold.
Alhaji Hassan said this on Friday at State House, Abuja, after leading a delegation from NAHCON to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing them into the board of the commission and brief him on plans and activities for this year’s Hajj exercise.
He said the commission would, however, not be reckless in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NAHCON boss, while reacting to the question to know the plans of the commission to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 pandemic if it refused to subside before the Hajj exercise, said: “As to the issue of COVID-19, as people of faith, we are always optimistic but we are not reckless. I can assure you that we are in tandem with the Federal Ministry of Health to actualize the Federal Government position on the matter.
“We have a member on the board who is with the Federal Ministry of Health. On daily basis, we interface to know the exact position. I can assure you, we are not going against any of federal government’s directives to ensure that Nigerians, either within or outside the country, are healthy and safe. So, we won’t be reckless. By Allah’s will, this year’s Hajj will come to be.”
He said the commission had succeeded in reducing the cost of certain items during Hajj without reduction in the quality, especially the cost of accommodation in Makkah and airlines’ ticket.
Hassan assured Nigerians that the reduction in Hajj fares would not affect the plan to lodge the pilgrims in hotels around the Holy sites, saying: “As to the placement of Nigerians in places that are far away from the Holy sites, I can assure you that we are not going to do that. We won’t do that. We have no such plan.