We’ve No Visa Issues, Says NAHCON

National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has debunked alleged visa-related hitches facing some tour operators for the 2024 Hajj operations, saying 95% of their pilgrims’ visas have been processed.

Hajj and Umrah tour operators in Nigeria had sought President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s intervention in tackling visa challenges being faced by some of their members for this year’s Hajj over alleged delay by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to credit their IBAN account.

They decried that the delay could cause them huge losses and appealed to President Tinubu to come to their rescue, saying the failure could endanger one of the sectors of businesses he was trying to build and protect.

But responding to an inquiry by LEADERSHIP on why the delay in crediting the tour operators’ IBAN account, NAHCON assistant director of public affairs, Fatima Usara Sanda, said about 95 percent of service funds have been remitted to the Saudi Arabian authorities and the commission is not relenting in dealing with the tour operators’ matters.

She accused the tour operators of being responsible for the delay in remitting services funds to Saudi Arabian authorities, saying they ought to have followed NAHCON’s advice and paid their money on time.

“While we wait for that we would like to inform you that our tour operators’ unit confirmed that about 95 percent of service funds have been remitted to the Saudi Arabian Authorities. Meaning 95% of their visas have been processed. So NAHCON is not relenting in dealing with their matters.

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“Second, (and without wanting to dwell on the roles the tour operators played in delaying their payments) because they ought to have made their payment on time when NAHCON advised them to pay at a higher rate to cushion the fluctuating dollar rate so that at the end of the day, their balances would be returned to them depending on date of remittance. Many instead, waited until the dollar had crashed to N1200. By the time remittances were being made to Saudi the rate had increased therefore they needed to pay more to enable the visa processing to continue. While most have since paid, some are still topping up and the dollar keeps increasing.

“Also, when over 10,000 out of about 13,000 visas have been done and still going on, how justifiable is their complaint?

“NAHCON’s desk officers responsible for resolving those issues can be reached 24 hours, they are there to attend to complaints based on verifiable call logs made by travel agents.

“So, we implore you to display the professionalism of developmental media in balancing your story in this regard,” Usara Sanda responded.

Meanwhile, a total of 10,988 Nigerian pilgrims have been airlifted to Saudi Arabia in the first phase of the 2024 Hajj exercise following the departure of Air Peace flight APK7912 from Ilorin to Madinah with 313 Kwara pilgrims and two officials yesterday.

The 2024 Hajj airlift update released by NAHCON command and control Centre indicated that at the end of yesterday, May 21, day 7 of the 2024 airlift, FlyNas had transported 4,665 pilgrims, followed by Max Air with 4,479. Air Peace has so far conveyed 1,531 pilgrims within the seven days of operations.

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Thus far, no flight cancellation has been recorded except for a flight delay that resulted in a time shift that affected the Kwara inaugural flight; postponed from Monday, May 20 to yesterday, May 21, 2024.


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God'swill Ofigo
Nigeria Blogger / Social Media Promoter/ Talent Manager/ Entertainer/ CEO OfyNaija Blog. WhatsApp: 0904709861

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