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2020 Hajj may still take place, says NAHCON

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Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, is optimistic that the 2020 Hajj may still hold.

In a chat with newsmen yesterday, he said that indicators from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health projected that the kingdom would hopefully witness a decline of COVID-19 infection from April 21 and possible eradication of the ailment by May.

This, therefore, gives the commission hope that the Hajj will take place if God wills it, hence NAHCON has not stopped preparations towards the exercise.

Hassan informed that he and senior management staff of NAHCON had been reporting to the office and deliberating on every development as a result of the pandemic.

He encouraged intending pilgrims not to feel reluctant in making Hajj fare deposits, as a situation may arise where a number of pilgrims might be reduced as a strategy towards managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Should this happen, slots will be offered to intending pilgrims on the first-come-first-served basis.

He thus encouraged Muslims intending to participate in the 2020 pilgrimage to pray and be prepared physically, mentally and spiritually towards making the Hajj.

The NAHCON boss further explained that despite the optimism, the commission had also made plans also in anticipation of a negative outcome.

Fortunately, all arrangements with Saudi Arabian service providers are legally backed, hence the commission does not anticipate any monetary loss on its side, he asserted.

Though a five per cent commitment has been made from the commission’s purse prior to Saudi Arabia’s directive to keep Hajj preparations on hold, this, however, does not affect intending pilgrims or their funds.

He assured that pilgrims who made deposits would be fully repaid at the cancellation of 2020 Hajj if such depositors request a refund.

“They may also choose to keep their deposits with the commission until the following year’s Hajj. Whichever option the intending pilgrim chooses, the commission is fully prepared,” he added.


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