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Ministry of Hajj and Umrah yet to make pronouncement on 2021 Hajj, says NAHCON

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[FILES] Pilgrims circumambulating around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the centre of the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, at the start of the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage, July 29, 2020. (STR / AFP)<br />

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said that the information making the rounds on 45,000 slots for foreign pilgrims is a suggestive guideline emanating from the Health ministry considering the implications of Covid-19. The commission said it remained inconclusive as the Hajj and Umrah Ministry charged with the affairs of Hajj is yet to make a decision.

The commission urged Nigerians and intending pilgrims to wait for official communication from appropriate authorities, and promised to furnish stakeholders with any communication from Saudi Arabia.

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According to a statement signed by the Head, Public Affairs Division, Hajia Fatima Usara, “The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) as a body officially responsible for organising Hajj and Umrah activities in Nigeria noticed information on 2021 Hajj making rounds, especially in the social media relating to guidelines for this year’s Hajj.

“The Commission would like to clarify that so far, the material is emanated from the Saudi Ministry of Health as guidelines for a peculiar Hajj upended by COVID-19. The Commission is fully aware of the very important role of the health ministry in Hajj planning in Saudi Arabia, therefore it is not in doubt on the possibility of it being adopted. However, the commission would like to draw the attention of the general public to the fact that the finality of Hajj guidelines will come from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, which will either endorse the released guidelines or issue the final position of the Kingdom contrary to what has been so far released by the Ministry of Health, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“Therefore, until the said ministry of Hajj and Umrah releases the guidelines on its website and formally communicates to Nigeria, NAHCON humbly urges the public to consider the information being circulated as guidelines for 2021 Hajj as inconclusive.

“The commission will not fail to keep the public updated as soon as an official stand is finalized by the kingdom. NAHCON understands the anxious wait by the public, especially by Hajj and Umrah stakeholders regarding 2021, to make their final decisions and preparations. The Commission trusts that Saudi Arabia is considerate of all happenings and will soon make a proclamation on Hajj 2021 in the interest of all Muslims as promised.

“While we all keep our fingers crossed, we urge all Hajj stakeholders and intending pilgrims to remain patient and accept in good faith whatever decision the Kingdom will take with regards to Hajj.”

NAHCON will keep working for the best bargains in the interest of all its stakeholders.”

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