Vice President Kashim Shettima on Wednesday, February 28, inaugurated the newly constituted board of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) at the State House, Abuja.

Speaking during the inauguration of the new board, Vice President Shettima urged members to synergize and bring fresh perspectives to the operations of the commission.

According to a statement issued by Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Communications, Office of the Vice President, Stanley Nkwocha, Shettima also called on the new management to introduce innovations in hajj operations in Nigeria.

He said serving on the NAHCON board is very important given that “Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam.

“For you, beyond your appointment, it is a win-win situation because if you serve the pilgrims well, almighty Allah will compensate you in the year after. So, it is more of a religious duty than an administrative function.”

Speaking further about the composition of the new board and the task ahead of them, Shettima said: “The president deliberately picked people with diverse backgrounds and untainted by the past so that they can bring fresh perspectives and innovations to Hajj operations in Nigeria and also interrogate the management structure of the organisation and bring out the best from the staff.”

“As usual, you will encounter a lot of challenges but I will urge you to fuse into a single force and achieve our desired result. I will urge you to wear your thinking caps and come up with robust solutions that will satisfy Nigerian pilgrims.

“It is a very tough assignment; this is the nature of pilgrimage. But I want you to have it at the back of your minds that you are rendering service to God and humanity,” he added.

The vice president particularly urged the new management to improve the Hajj Savings Scheme to boost the number of pilgrims participating in the exercise across the country.

His words: “There are States that have become success stories in the Hajj Savings Scheme, and there is a need for greater advocacy so that this scheme can be replicated across the country.”

He further challenged the board to “engage our agents and operations partners to foster a longer-term relationship so that they can make significant capital investment in operations in the holy land.”

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the new board, Malam Jalal Arabi, thanked the President and Vice President for finding them worthy of service to the nation through the NAHCON board.

He said given the importance of the task ahead of them, the new board would work as a team to improve Hajj operations in Nigeria, assuring that pilgrims will get value for their money.

The NAHCON CEO said his team has already commenced work with a visit to Saudi Arabia to inspect facilities ahead of the forthcoming operations.

The newly constituted board comprises Aliu Abdulrazaq (Commissioner, Policy, Personnel, & Finance), Prince Anofi Elegushi (Commissioner, Operations), and Professor Abubakar A. Yagawal (Commissioner, Planning & Research).

The zonal and stakeholder representatives include Dr. Muhammad Umaru Ndagi — North Central; Abba Jato Kala — North East; Sheikh Muhammad Bin Othman — North West; Tajudeen Oladejo Abefe — South West; Aishat Obi Ahmed — South East; Zainab Musa — South-South; Professor Musa Inuwa Fodio — Jama’atul Nasril Islam, and Professor Adedimizi Mahfouz Adebola — Supreme Council on Islamic Affairs.

Also, present at the event were the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate; Ministers of Aviation, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, and Interior, Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *