Nigeria, Saudi Arabia discuss flight ban, Hajj, Umrah

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THE chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, on Tuesday led a delegation to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Nigeria to discuss issues of mutual benefit to both countries regarding Hajj and Umrah operations.

According to a statement by the commission’s head of public affairs, Fatima Sanda Usara, the visit was also to press for the Federal Government’s request for the lifting of the flight ban into Saudi Arabia. 

During a meeting with the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Faisal Bin Ibraheem Al-Ghamidy, the NAHCON chairman expressed delight at what he called the constant mutual support and cooperation between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. 

Hassan encouraged the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to reconsider the direct entry ban in the interest of Nigerian intending pilgrims for Hajj and Umrah who are NAHCON’s primary constituents. 

The chairman also expressed gratitude for the efforts being made by the Saudi Arabian authorities towards compensating families of victims of the 2015 plane crash.

Faisal Al-Ghamidy, in a remark, expressed the hope that the flight suspension on Nigeria into the Kingdom would end soon and pledged his country’s support for Nigeria when necessary.

On the issue of crane crash compensation, the envoy said his country was prepared to ensure the compensation was handed to the victims’ heirs or their representatives soon.

On the NAHCON chairman’s entourage were Commissioner of Operations, Alhaji Abdullahi Magaji Hardawa; Commissioner of Policy, Personnel Management and Finance, Alhaji Nura Hassan Yakassai; Secretary to the Commission, Dr Rabi’u Abdullahi Kontagora and Special Assistant to the Chairman, Dr Danbaba Haruna.

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