A Nigerian pilgrim identified as Hajiya Aishatu y’an Guru Nahuce, has exhibited the character of a good ambassador in Saudi Arabia.

This is as she returned lost N56,000,000 to its owner, a fellow pilgrim.

Independent Hajj Reporters (IHR), a Civil Society Organisation, who made this known, posted that “Hajj News: This Nigerian pilgrim Hajiya Aishatu y’an Guru Nahuce From Bungudu LGA Of Zamfara State Found $80,000 (N56,000,000). And Handed It Over To The Zamfara Pilgrims Welfare Agency Official for onward return to the owner.

“May Almighty Allah rewards her honesty and accept her Hajj. Ameen.”

IHR had advised the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to commence registration for the 2024 Hajj operations for intending pilgrims.

The National Coordinator of the CSO, Malam Ibrahim Mohammed, gave the advice in a statement on Saturday in Makkah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabian Ministry for Hajj and Umrah recently unveiled the roadmap for the 2024 Hajj.

Unveiling the roadmap, the Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr Tawfiq Al Rabiah, stated that preparations for the 2024 Hajj would begin immediately with the issuance of letters to each country that announces its commencement of preparations.

He listed the highlights of the 2014 hajj roadmap to include holding of preparatory meetings from Sept. 16 to Nov. 4, and organising an International Symposium and Exhibition on Jan. 8, 2024.

“Conclusion of Accommodation and Masha’er Contracts on February 25, 2024, commencement of Visa Issuance on March 1, 2024, closing of Visa Issuance on April 29, 2024, and arrival of the first set of 2024 Pilgrims into Saudi Arabia on May 9, 2024.”

Al Rabiah stated that the first Hajj Mission to conclude all preparations would have the opportunity to choose its preferred locations at the Masha’er (Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah) for 2024 Hajj.

The national coordinator of the CSO noted that given the early release of the 2024 calendar of events by the Saudi authority, it has become imperative for NAHCON and states to begins early registration.

He said that the announcement of the 2024 Hajj calendar of events less than a week after the 2023 Hajj period had created a new Hajj operating system for Hajj-participating countries who are desirous of being part of 2024 Hajj.

“With this announcement, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has indirectly rendered the usual one-year-at-a-time registration of pilgrims ineffective.

“The Ministry of Hajj has now made it operationally mandatory for countries to complete all arrangements for the next Hajj four months after the current Hajj.”

He disclosed that a new policy of allotment of tents in Mina will depend on “first come, first served” basis, thereby creating the need to fast-forward preparations for the 2024 Hajj.

Mohammed, therefore, advised NAHCON, state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards, Hajj and Umrah Operators to immediately begin preparations for their services to the pilgrims during the 2024 hajj.

“The yearly process of preparations for Hajj is anchored on providing memorable services during the five days of Hajj – being days when Hajj rites are performed. We must be prepared because the Hajj exercise will not get better by chance.

“For example, applying for airline slots, allotment of tents in Mina, provision for pilgrims’ accommodation both in Makkah and Madinah, funding of visa accounts and meeting all other financial obligations, required having a pool of funds that can be easily utilised.

“The ‘pay-as-you-go’ system of pilgrim registration is operationally obsolete and NAHCON and states Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards should immediately commence the registration for the 2024 hajj and roll out a plan of action.

“The Ministry of Hajj has so far communicated these procedural obligations to some Hajj-participating countries, approving the normal quota for the 2024 hajj which means that Nigeria will retain its 95,000 hajj quota.”

Mohammed said that Nigeria, as the fifth largest global hajj contingent and highest delegation in Africa, cannot operate “pay today, travel tomorrow” Hajj arrangements.

“When its counterparts operate five to six years of hajj rolling plans, there is a need to start here and now,” he said.

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