HomeLocal NewsDon’t carry prohibited items into Saudi – NAHCON warns pilgrims

Don’t carry prohibited items into Saudi – NAHCON warns pilgrims

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), on Wednesday warned the 2024 Hajj pilgrims against carrying any prohibited items into the Saudi Arabia.

The Executive Chairman of  NAHCON, Malam Jalal Arabi issued the warning at the inauguration of the 2024 National Hajj operations, held at the Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State.

Arabi also emphasised the need for the pilgrims to utilise the special privilege they have to serve Allah  and avoid being distracted.

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“I implore you all to avoid any conduct that would dent your image and the image of our dear country.

“Remember the lessons you learnt while preparing for this exercise and know that the time has come to implement them.

“Also, remember that you are traveling to a country where there is language barrier and a country where their laws are strictly followed for the general good of
the congregation,’’ he said.

Arabi added: “Claiming ignorance not to comply by the laid down rules or guidelines will not safe one’s neck when caught in the wrong side of the law.

“Follow instructions of your officials or pilgrims’ guides to stay safe because they have been trained to know the dos and donts.

“Saudi Arabia is a country that does its best possible to give the finest hospitality to its guests, therefore we should not abuse the gesture’’.

The NAHCON boss also implored pilgrims to abide, strictly by all health regulations while in the Kingdom, to avoid falling ill.

He said that the NAHCON had made the necessary arrangements for pilgrims’ comfort.

“Do not hesitate to contact any of our official for assistance when in need, because they are there to serve you.

“Safeguard your valuables and do not carry along any prohibited item into Saudi Arabia.

“The feats recorded by the board within its short lifespan would not have been possible without the collaboration of stakeholders,’’ he said.

Arabi revealed that NAHCON management, after consultation with members of the State Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards, introduced certain measures to reduce the high Hajj expenses.

“We reduced the length of stay in Madinah from eight days to four days and charged a fee commensurate to the four days.

“In doing this, we cut down the Madinah accommodation fees significantly, after bargaining for the same luxurious hotels.

“’We reduced the Basic Travels Allowance (BTA) from 800 dollars to 500 dollars, after taking into consideration that any pilgrim in need of more dollars can source them on their own.

“We believe we have made enough accommodation and feeding arrangement that will not warrant the pilgrims spending extra on these amenities.

“Therefore, 500 dollars would suffice in this global cash crunch times.

He commended the teamwork spirit that the commission under his leadership had been enjoying from the States’ Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards.

Arabi thanked Gov. Nasir Idris of Kebbi for facilitating the successful launch of the inaugural flight as scheduled.

He also thanked President Bola Tinubu for standing up and intervening when it mattered most, and ensuring that “Nigerians perform this year’s Hajj when all hopes were lost’’.

He enjoined pilgrims and the NAHCON officials to pray for Nigeria and its leaders.

NAN

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