The Association for Hajj and Umrah Operators of Nigeria (AHUON) has rejected the call that hajj operation in the country be returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The National President of the operators Alhaji Abdulfattah Abdulmajeed, said this on Wednesday in Abuja at the opening of the National Training Workshop themed: “Hajj, Umrah and the Policy Challenges: The Way Forward” organised by AHOUN and the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).

The Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Hajiya Khadija Abba-Ibrahim, last week Tuesday had urged the National Assembly to return control of Hajj Commission to the ministry for proper coordination, explaining that Hajj Commission used to be under the control of the ministry before it was taken to the presidency, under the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

But the AHOUN President argued that the emergence of NAHCON in 2007 has allowed Hajj and Umrah industry in Nigeria to be sanitized and now occupy the centre stage across the world, Daily Trust reports. 

“The suggestion that hajj and umrah industry be returned to the Foreign Affairs Ministry is not only out of tune, but totally unacceptable,” Abdulmajeed said.

He said the events leading to the establishment of NAHCON are well known and fresh in memories and that “The pilgrims are no longer stranded and deadlines set are met”.

He said the workshop was to update members of the association not only in hajj and umrah industry but also in the global travel and tourism industry.

Chairman of NAHCON Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad commended the association for cooperating with the commission and that the recorded achievements were due to such collaborations.

He also said that the activities of the operators are been closely monitored and evaluated to ensure quality service delivery to the pilgrims.

He also urged them to key into the commission’s breakthrough in accommodation especially in Medina.

He further urged the operators to honour the PENCON regulations warning that the commission would not relate with any of them failing to comply with the PENCON regulations.

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