Nigerian Airports fully ready for Hajj Operation- NAHCON

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Presenting the structure to the National Hajj Board on Tuesday, the General Manager Distributive Trade, Mr Abubakar Mohammed said the company's support for the renovation of the transit centre was to show appreciation to the loyalty of its subscribers in the Muslim communities, adding that the gesture also forms part of its social responsibility.

Meanwhile, religious affairs ministry yesterday warned of legal actions against private hajj tour agencies responsible for visa complications of pilgrims.

"The hajj pilgrims, who failed to go to Saudi Arabia following cancellation of scheduled flight, can go there for performing hajj".

Aiming to resolve the ongoing uncertainty over Hajj flights, Biman Bangladesh Airlines has applied to Saudi Arabian civil aviation authority to allot more slots (landing permission) for transporting Hajj pilgrims.

Abdullahi said that the air transportation of the state intending pilgrims was inaugurated on August 1 by the Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai at the Kaduna International Airport in a ceremony attended by top government officials.

He said that the pilgrims transported to Saudi Arabia were from Kachia and Kauru Local Government Areas.

Ashkona Hajj Camp Director Saiful Islam said the Saudi government yesterday informed its Bangladesh counterpart that each repeat pilgrim must pay an additional Saudi Riyals 2000 [Tk 44,000]. Of them, 46,792 pilgrims have received visas while 47,476 others are yet to get those, he added.

He, however, blamed the Religious Affairs Ministry and Hajj agencies for the situation.

This is in line with the directive of President Muhammadu BUHARI to the airport authorities after last year's hajj exercise where some pilgrims were caught at the airport in Saudi Arabia after taken off from the Ilorin International Airport with substances suspected to be cocaine.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudi Airlines are carrying Bangladeshi pilgrims.

According to him, the security committee of NAHCON, officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and other security agencies have been working together to avoid any act of criminality either within or outside the country during this year's hajj operations.

This year, the Saudi government launched the E-visas programme for the hajj pilgrims.

Of the visa recipients, 29,839 pilgrims have already left for Saudi Arabia.

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