The airlift of Nigerian pilgrims from Saudi Arabia back to the country will commence, Friday 15th, July.
Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Alhaji Zikirullah Hassan stated this in Makkah during the Post- Arafat Stakeholders’ meeting.
He said the airlifting of pilgrims would be on first in, first out policy.
Alhaji Hassan who asked for the cooperation of other stakeholders gave an assurance that the airlifting of pilgrims back to Nigeria would have been completed before August 13 deadline given by Saudi Arabia.
He noted that over 7,000 pilgrims that were yet to visit Medina would do so before returning to Nigeria.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa reported that the Saudi- Arabia authorities had agreed that as from next year, Nigerian cooks would be mobilized earlier before the Hajj exercise to train Saudi cooks on how to prepare Nigerian local foods.
The Chairman, House Committee on Pilgrims Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Nalaraba who congratulated NAHCON for a successful exercise said some countries could not make this year’s Hajj
In a welcome address, Ambassador of Nigeria to the Kingdom of Saudi- Arabia, Alhaji Yahya Lawal said all stakeholders involved in Hajj operations had learnt lessons from this year’s exercise and would work on such to make 2023 Hajj a better one.
During the presentations of committee reports, Head of Medical team, Dr Usman Galadima said 12, 152 patients were attended to while 3 pilgrims died during the exercise and they were from Nasarawa, Kaduna and Borno States.