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Civil society urges NAHCON to penalise tour operators over poor services to hajj pilgrims

Independent Hajj Reporters has urged the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to sanction service providers and tour operators who delivered poor services to Nigerian pilgrims in Muna and Arafat.

“There are complains of non- provision of some essential services like meals, transportation of pilgrims, non-allocation of tents for pilgrims by some Nigerian tour operators and their Saudi based service providers,” the civil society’s national coordinator, Ibrahim Muhammed, said in a statement released in Muna, Saudi Arabia.

“This situation has made it difficult for the affected pilgrims to perform their act of ibadah under conducive environment,” he said.

“In view of the above, Independent Hajj Reporters, therefore, called on NAHCON  to immediately begin investigation to unearth the reasons for the poor services experienced by some pilgrims in Muna, especially those served by Service No 18,” the statement said.

The civil society said a committee comprising of leadership of AHUON – the umbrella body of Independent Tour Operators, NAHCON’s inspectorate, evaluation and compliance unit, Mutawwif for African Non- Arab Pilgrims and Saudi Ministry of Hajj, and Umrah, be constituted to look into the issue.

“NAHCON should replicate what it did in 2015 by immediately commencing the process of compelling the service provider(s) to make refunds back to pilgrims for service not rendered or rendered un-satisfactorily. Such moves will help the commission to apply sanctions to appropriate quarters,” according to the statement.

Independent Hajj Reporters team in Muna and Arafat frowned at some states pilgrims welfare boards officials who were found evading the genuine requests for information from their pilgrims and abandoning from their duty posts when it matter most.

The civil society said it will officially report such States Pilgrims Welfare Boards leadership to their respective state governors as their action have caused some pilgrims untold hardship during this year hajj.

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