Nigeria gets 95, 000 slots for Hajj 2020
Saudi Arabia authorities have retained 95, 000 slot allocation for Nigeria pilgrims in 2020 Hajj.
Similar allocation was appropriated to hajj commission in 2019 operation.
Head of Public Affairs, National hajj Commission, Fatima Usara, said that the allocation was part of an agreement reached between officials of hajj commission and Saudi authorities.
According to Usara, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), was signed by Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada on behalf of Nigeria and the Saudi Arabian Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr SalehBn Taher Benten who signed on behalf of the Kingdom.
In the MoU, the Saudi government stated that 2020 hajj will not recognise any contractual agreement or payment done outside the e-track portal. Saudi also applauded NAHCON for its efforts in controlling visa violation and pilgrims absconding in the Kingdom.
Also part of the MoU was “an optional payment of 100 Saudi Riyals or more as insurance cover for any accidents, loss of property and other risks they may face while on Hajj. This does not, however, include medical care as the Kingdom grants free health care to every pilgrim while in the holy land”.
On visa fees, it was also ascertained that the 300 Riyals charge remains for all types of visas. It was agreed that the validity of the Umrah and visit (tourism) visas do not extend to the Hajj period, saying issuance of such visas ends shortly before the onset of Hajj season.
The Saudi Arabia Authorities also assured the Nigerian government that additional 60,000 toilets will be constructed by the Kingdom to address the shortage of toilets being experienced during the Mina outing, known as Masha’ir.
Prior to the signing event, Ambassador Dada conveyed President Muhammadu Buhari’s gratitude to King Salman Bin AbdulAziz and the Saudi Arabian authorities for compensating families of five dead and six injured Nigerians affected in the 2015 crane crash accident in Makkah.
“Part of agreements reached for 2020 Hajj includes a strong reminder on the e-track registration guideline. The leader of the Saudi delegation re-emphasised that the Saudi Ministry of Hajj will not recognise any contractual agreement or payment done outside the e-track portal. Such is considered illegal and will not be recognised by the Kingdom.”
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