Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah recently released a circular informing the general public of its resolve to refund Umrah visa fees and other service charges. This is the sequel to suspension of lesser Hajj activities by the Kingdom’s authorities as a measure towards halting the spread of COVID-19 infection.
The circular indicated that an electronic method for refunding Umrah visa applicants through their local agents has been prepared for processing of the payments. Therefore it urges those with legitimate claims to contact their travel agents for retrieval of their dues.
In view of the above, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) urges those who have paid for the Umrah through Licensed Tour Operators to keep in touch with their operators for collection of their monies when released by the Kingdom.
The Commission further urges those who subsequently encounter problems collecting their refunds to lodge complaints with the Commission through the post to NAHCON’s Commissioner Operations through Head, Inspectorate and Compliance, Zakariya Maimalari Street, Hajj House, Abuja or by a physical appearance at the Hajj House, NAHCON headquarters. All claims must be accompanied with valid documents and evidence of transaction with the registered operator.
It would be recalled that the Commission has always cautioned Umrah hopefuls to transact directly with only Tour Operators dully registered with the Commission in case of breach of contract or similar situations that may warrant recovery of funds.
Similarly, the Commission encourages intending pilgrims whether for Umrah or Hajj under private arrangements to sign agreements on the types of package they are paying for. This package should indicate the category of services being paid for and other terms and conditions of engagement.
NAHCON is a regulator committed to protecting the rights of its stakeholders, whether the customer or the service providers/operators.
For enquiries, please contact the phone lines given below:
Inspectorate and Compliance, NAHCON: 08033826429
Visa and Consular section, NAHCON: 07033701605
Fatima Sanda Usara, Head, Public Affairs, NAHCON.