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Gov. Bago urges FG to cancel NAHCON over poor handling of 2024 Hajj

The governor expressed his dissatisfaction in a widely circulated video regarding certain services...

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Gov. Bago urges FG to cancel NAHCON over poor handling of 2024 Hajj

Niger State Governor, Mohammed Umaru Bago, has demanded the abolition of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) due to its handling of the 2024 Hajj.

Insisting that NAHCON is inefficient, Bago called on the National Assembly to investigate the alleged mismanagement of N90 billion federal government’s subsidy for the 2024 Hajj operations in Saudi Arabia.

The governor expressed his dissatisfaction in a widely circulated video regarding certain services provided by the commission.

The governor’s frustration primarily arose from the limited space allocated to Tent A pilgrims from Nigeria, including state governors and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, who participated in the pilgrimage.

READ ALSO: Gov. Bago advocates religious tolerance, human respect

He further revealed that he would spearhead efforts within the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to propose a legislation aimed at dismantling NAHCON ’s operational authority.

“NACON is not helping matters. The government has no business in doing this business.”

Governor Bago labelled NAHCON’s performance during the 2024 Hajj operations as “a resounding failure.”

“In a nutshell, the 2024 Hajj operation is a failure.”

The Governor accused NAHCON of going beyond its regulatory role by taking on operational responsibilities.

“But for us as a country, we have failed. We have failed and continue to fail and fail and fail.

”In my state, we lost two pilgrims in Medina due to medical issues that proper screening could have prevented.

“Another four perished due to the heat wave.

“Let state governments be able to do the right thing, screen their pilgrims, check their health statuses,” he said.

The governor questioned why NAHCON was responsible for services such as feeding, accommodation in Madinah, tents in Muna, transportation, healthcare, and handling of funds totaling N90 billion allocated by the federal government for hajj subsidies.

He said that state governments and the private sector could better organise and manage pilgrimages.

He criticised the handling of funds, stating that the N90 billion could have significantly benefited other government programmes.

He also raised concerns about the low amount of money distributed to pilgrims despite the high fees they paid.

While NAHCON Chairman Jalal Arabi declared the hajj successful and highlighted improvements in tent and feeding arrangements from the previous year, he chose not to engage in a public dispute with the governor, stating that they will address the issues internally upon returning home.

Arabi explained that the decision to decrease the BTA from $500 to $400 was due to fluctuations in the exchange rate at the time of approval.

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