Peter Drucker once said, ” Trees die from the top, so do organisations.” This is true for any organisation, as the man at the helm of affairs should be a person with proven ability to lead, guide and motivate the people in the organidation. He should move them as strong, organised, unified force to achieve the organisational goals, so as to fulfill all the stakeholders’ expectations.
Whenever there is success or failure it will be attributed to leadership. It is the leader who provides direction, determines strategies and selects which employee doed what for the organisation. More so, the leader offers inspirations to the employees by giving them room to manifest their talents and abilities. When these are done right, the organisation Is likely to succeed and vice versa.
That is why leadership is an important criterion in organisational achievements. In today’s world, the transactional type of leadership is gradually being replaced by transformational leadership which values human potential. Leadership style tends to create the proper organisation culture for growth, innovation and sustainability.
Over a thousand years ago, every single year Muslims in thousands travel to Saudi Arabia in order to fulfill their religious obligations. This journey gives them the opportunity to explore a different view and orientation of another part of the world, meeting with various people from different parts of the world, cross-cultured population gathering for one purpose.
It takes several months of preparations each year to see to fruition of the gathering, many tend to think it is a seasonal business. But to think of the needs of the pilgrims one can imagine how they can be met on that season if adequate preparations are not madeon. Think about the travel, accommodation, feeding, finance, education, crowd control, health, infrastructure and environmental needs of the pilgrims. In Nigeria it takes NAHCON and several stakeholders months of preparation to organise the journey.
All of these cannot be achieved without a determined and committed leadership
From 2015, the NAHCON leadership reviews its traditional way of doing business. Unlike what was obtained in the past it decided to embark on direct negotiations with property owners of pilgrims’ accommodation, hence getting agents out of the business. It decided to make the hajj fare a unified amount getting the loaders out of business, it also implement the use of stringent measures before companies are being allowed to participate in pilgrims servicing, be it feeding or airlifting getting fraudulent people out of business. It engages IDB through Jaiz Bank to perform Hadaya on behalf of pilgrims setting fraudsters out of proportion. All of the above are multi million naira funds harvested by these networks that were trampled by the commission. It is estimated that Nigerians as of the said investigation lose more than $21 million yearly. Come to think of it, who will fight these under dogs and make it out easy? These are networks of tough people who control several resources, and have several materials of fighting the system at their disposal. This people have made and are making every attempt to thwart the due process, using claims to secretly mask the leadership as dictatorial, which gives them the zeal to use external powers and procedures profoundly contrary to natural law to see that the policies did not see the light of the day.
This is the tragic result of “the management doing their job,” as they cut off life support of many individuals. These individuals won’t just give up so easily without giving a rough fight starting with petitions, traducement and sparking investigations into the affairs of NAHCON.
All those decisions that NAHCON made come at a price; a price of false allegations and accusations aimed at tarnishing the image of the commission, its leadership and staff. The ripple effect of those decisions is that the commission was brought to limelight of the public negative opinion.
They hired a “professional poisoner of the mind” who came with destructive campaign against the management in order to ruin its reputation, instill fear and exploit emotions.
Unfortunately for him, he met a management that believes the sea is dangerous and its storms terrible. But these obstacles have never been sufficient reason to remain ashore; they were ready sail through the turbulence of the monumental ruins that are caused by the said people in order to gore the Nigerian pilgrims of their hard earned money. All that the self-acclaimed activist has been portraying have now banish into the ash heap of history as he is already dancing to the tune of his deeds as Mamman Shata said “gargadi mai gina ramin mugunta” warn the person digging a pit of wickedness because he may fall in which is the case here. His ship has been brought to harbour.
In many ways, truth has become difficult to cover because those who attempt to cover it not only become liars but expose the reality about their bad intentions about the Nigerian pilgrim, among others
The whole scenario of dealing with this corruption comes with a price of good and quality service delivery to the pilgrims, a distinction of excellent package that competes with other countries at a reduced price ever possible.
Hajj management has since taken a turn and it has been aligned with modern and technological advancements of the global industries. Now pilgrims get orientation taken to them in their buses, accommodation, tents all journey long with a team of the very best vast and well-educated Ulama’s Nigeria can offer.
Their events were well covered in the press and giving maximum attention they may be needing by professionals from all corners of the media.
Their airlifts coordinated by a team of aviation experts. Security team working round the clock to ensure the safety of the pilgrims, house managers catering for the needs of the pilgrims, the feeding committee are ensuring the timing, food quality, quantity and hygiene are not compromised. A team is dedicated to receive the Nigerian pilgrims in the airports, medical professionals operating like their counterparts in the globe by showcasing best practices.
Pilgrims now can lay complaints on the services they are not satisfied with through complaints and response center, lost pilgrims can access help with a dial, also those that are tech savvy have a compilation of Madina, Makkah and Mina GPS locations of their accommodation and tents all compiled up for them for easy navigation.
Monitoring and evaluation team are staring at each service rendered with keen eyes, which foresee the requiem of informal Hajj organization in the country.
Behind the scenes NGOs, Immigration, Customs, Civil Defense, embassies and CBN are all stakeholders in seeing the affairs of the Hajj in Nigeria is well coordinated without cutting corners.
It is still a mark of prosperity considering the development that has been achieved within the short period, prompt response of the NAHCON leadership and the political will of the government cannot be overlooked as they have learned and are still learning from mistakes as every year different challenges arise and without mistakes there could not have been Penicillin, microwave and Coca-Cola.
Nevertheless, while we are repeatedly reminded of the usefulness of learning from mistakes, and the vital role that failures play in success, the idea that failure is a good thing has never truly caught on.
In conclusion the future holds a great opportunity for Nigerian pilgrims to access the best service providing possible, the seed of future innovations planted by those founding fathers have yielded and the results are glaring at everyone, one of the future investments for the Nigerian pilgrim is the Hajj house, a place where every pilgrim can walk to and comfortably get answers and solutions to his/her questions and problems regarding the sacred journey.
The future is starting to look promising by the things the commission is trying to roll out, Hajj Saving Scheme and Hajj Institute will be the game changers if unleashed. They will squash the whole atmosphere of Hajj Management in Nigeria to a whole new level.
All these cannot be achieved without strong leadership like a proverb that said “A lion can lead an army of sheep to defeat an army of lions leaded by a sheep” acting on fear would have led NAHCON management to attempt buying in on what others want. But by constructing a sturdy ship to insulate them from the sea’s tempests (which is being honest), even though doing so would require dismantling some ships for materials and supplies which is a risk. But life is not necessarily enjoyable and wonderful just because risk is absent; in fact, taking these occasional risks could imbue life with meaning, gratitude, and contentment which I believe are in the general interest of Nigerian Muslims.
Mu’azu writes from NAHCON media department via