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‘Pakistan, Kuwait have started registration’ — CSO asks NAHCON to begin 2024 hajj preparations

‘Pakistan, Kuwait have started registration’ — CSO asks NAHCON to begin 2024 hajj preparations
August 15
19:42 2023

The Independent Hajj Reporters, a civil society organisation monitoring hajj and umrah activities, says the new changes to the hajj calendar have brought an end to the era of delay in preparations for pilgrimage.

In a statement on Tuesday, Ibrahim Mohammed, national coordinator of the organisation, said the new calendar has made it mandatory for all countries to conclude hajj arrangements by March 2024.

The Saudi Arabian ministry of hajj and umrah had earlier urged all countries to begin preparations for the next pilgrimage four months after the last exercise.

Mohammed called on the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to direct all state pilgrim boards to commence arrangements ahead of the deadline.

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“The implications of this is that all hajj countries will have to register pilgrims, collect payments and sign agreements with service providers before that date,” the statement reads.

“The reality of 2024 hajj preparations do not give room for delay, especially in Nigeria where the system operates a one-year hajj plan – an extremely compacted activity that has caused so much confusion in the quest to create an enduring standard hajj operating environment in Nigeria.

“The era of countries taking their time to conclude all plans often till the last minute is over.

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“Competent authorities, especially NAHCON, should immediately order states to commence the registration of pilgrims and give suitable deadlines working with the country’s 95,000 slots

“It is our belief that failure to do this will end up causing unnecessary confusion and create panic in the system ahead of 2024 hajj.”

Mohammed said countries like Pakistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Indonesia and Bangladesh have commenced registration of intending pilgrims.

“The latest change of calendar is good for all countries because they will have at least three months to conclude all logistic arrangements as the exact number of pilgrims for the annual pilgrimage is known,” he added.

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“NAHCON, states and private tour operators now have an opportunity to finalise accommodation and flight arrangements ahead of time.

“Even bed and tent slots can be allocated ahead of arrival to Saudi Arabia, thereby, solving the problem encountered this year.”

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