Jalal Arabi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), has vowed to impose severe penalties on service providers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who fail to meet the required standards,Daily Trust reports.

During an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, following the completion of the first phase of the 2024 Hajj operations, Arabi emphasized NAHCON’s commitment to swift and decisive action against those who do not meet expectations.

Recently, a social media post alleged that Nigerian pilgrims, who had paid N8 million for the Hajj, were being served poor breakfasts. Addressing these concerns, Arabi acknowledged the challenges of managing a large number of pilgrims but stressed NAHCON’s responsibility to ensure high standards of accommodation and feeding.

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“We have a large number of people performing this religious obligation, and while we strive for excellence, missteps can occur. However, we have a duty to ensure that both their accommodation and meals are top-notch,” Arabi said.

He highlighted the crucial role NAHCON plays in ensuring the well-being of Hajj pilgrims, noting that while complaints are inevitable, the commission remains vigilant. “We have numerous inspectors, apart from committee members, who oversee the kitchens to ensure the food is of good quality and sufficient quantity,” he explained.

Arabi reiterated NAHCON’s unwavering commitment to maintaining high standards for the pilgrims. “When we hear of infractions, we promptly set up committees to investigate. We are leaving shortly to receive reports, and any provider found guilty will be sanctioned and removed from service,” he assured.

He emphasized that pilgrims deserve fairness and respect, stating, “It’s their money and their right to be treated well. Anything less is unacceptable. We will review the reports upon arrival and take necessary actions.”

Arabi also mentioned that the return of pilgrims to Nigeria would commence on June 22, 2024.


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