The House of Representatives has urged the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to undertake a downward review of hajj fares for 2018 pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
Though the commission has not fixed the total fare for this year’s hajj, it had directed State Muslim Welfare Boards and agencies to collect deposit of N1.5 million, same amount paid in 2017.
NAHCON Chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Muhammad, at a sensitization workshop in Abuja, said the commission is still computing cost of various components that make up the total package of the 2018 Hajj fares.
He said “If after computing the cost we arrive as N1.5 million, that is all, but if it is lower or higher than the deposit collected, we will explain to the public as usual.”
But the House of Representatives implored the commission to find ways of reducing hajj fares.
A statement by Head of NAHCON’s Media Unit, Fatima Mustapha, said the lower chamber gave the charge in a report of its committee on Nigeria-Saudi Arabia Parliamentary Friendship and Hajj affairs.
The report, however, commended the commission for the successful conduct of Hajj 2017 exercise and expressed hope that the 2018 exercise would be better.
The statement quoted a letter signed by the Clerk of the National Assembly, M.A. Sani-Omolori, as commending NAHCON for lodging pilgrims very close to the Haram in Makkah during last year’s hajj exercise.
The members of Parliament also lauded the commission for the introduction and institution of National Medical Team policy which it wanted to be broaden.
“That even though the National Medical Team Policy adopted by the commission has improved significantly, the arrangement should be elaborated further to make the medical facility accessible with ease and close to pilgrim’s accommodation,” the statement quoted Omolori as saying.
Other highlight of the House resolution includes, the giant roles played by the commission to curtail the activities of drug peddlers to the Holy land.
According to it, “the commission made commendable efforts to curtail the activities of drug peddlers and other prohibited items during the 2017 Hajj and should sustain the feat by more enlightenment of pilgrims.”