National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has announced that the inaugural flight for 2018 Hajj will commence on July 21 with pilgrims from Kogi State.
Chairman of NAHCON, Mr Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammed, disclosed this at the final preparatory meeting for 2018 Hajj in Abuja yesterday. He said Saudi authorities agreed to carry out a mobile biometric data-capture.
The firm appointed to conduct the registration will travel from one location to the other registering intending pilgrims instead of the previous arrangement of moving the pilgrims to designated data-capturing centres, he said.
He therefore directed state welfare boards and agencies that have fully uploaded their pilgrims’ particulars on the Hajj e-portal to mobilize their pilgrims for the assignment.
He also instructed the boards to indicate their readiness and ensure that they provide the data capturing officials functional offices completely air-conditioned with constant electricity and internet.
The NAHCON chief stressed that vaccines for the inoculation of pilgrims were already available, warning state officials from running clinics in their pilgrim’s accommodation facilities while in the holy land, against Saudi regulations.
Mukhtar urged state representatives to sensitize their pilgrims on the need to remain in their homes until their flights are called instead of putting themselves under pressure waiting at the camps.
The chairman charged tour operators to remain focused on the Hajj template and not compromise standards or short-change pilgrims on services.