Hajj 2022: Over 20, 000 pilgrims airlifted back to Nigeria – NAHCON

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) said 20, 124 pilgrims have been airlifted back to the country in the last two weeks.

NAHCON commenced airlift back to Nigeria on July 15, 2022.

The commission in a statement by its Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Fatima Sanda Usara, Saturday said it has recorded stable progress in the airlift.

“Compared to outbound journey from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia which recorded movement of 14, 267 pilgrims after 15 days, its corresponding figure on the return leg is currently 20, 124 and still counting for today.

“The airlift figures in percentage are 44.1% during the outbound airlift and over 61.1% in the inbound return leg; an over 17% improvement,” the statement said.

NAHCON said so far, six states – Benue, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Yobe and FCT have recorded 100% completion of dispatch back to Nigeria. 

According to the statement, Adamawa and few others are on their last legs and states like Lagos with about 49 pilgrims are left.

The statement said Bauchi with 113 and Borno 233, had their visit to Madinah for which they are on queue to return.

The statement partly read, “Indeed, the Commission’s initial projection was that all pilgrims will visit Madinah during the pre-Hajj phase. Unfortunately, the late arrival of some of the country’s pilgrims during the first phase necessitated re-arrangement for the second phase. 

“As is customary in Saudi Arabia, any mass movement of pilgrims must be captured and cleared in the Hajj portal before permit is granted.  Hence, Nigeria being one among hundreds of nations obtaining similar clearance before moving its pilgrims to Madinah is doing so according to clearance granted. 

“Please note that pilgrims’ movement to Madinah will follow the same sequence of arrival into Saudi Arabia. Therefore, unless their return flight schedule is ascertained, pilgrims should understand that moving them into Madinah to await airlift after a longer duration may be detrimental to their ease. Hence, once their return flight and clearance is confirmed, pilgrims will be moved to Madinah.”

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