History was made on Sunday 4th October, 2020 in Kano, when National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) sponsored Hajj Savings Scheme (HSS) was formally launched and its operations officially kicked-off at an elaborate ceremony witnessed by Political, Religious, Traditional and Institution leaders.
The achievement duly placed the Commission on the high pedestal and no doubt on the right side of history, being the first Hajj mission in the sub-region and perhaps Africa to have an institution exclusively devoted to accepting contributions, savings for the purpose of performing the Holy pilgrimage to Makkah.
Having achieved the above, the Commission has now shifted its focus to the establishment of an exclusive Training Institution that will provide knowledge and serve as a new home for professional Hajj Managers and Administrators.
As one of the countries with the largest pilgrims in the world, 5th behind Indonesia, Bangledash, Pakistan and India, the Nigerian pilgrims and Administrators have often been chided for unorganized behaviour, indiscipline, rude and uneducated, while its officials are blamed for lack of leadership, coordination and nonchalant attitude by many Saudi Agencies and Authorities. Infact, the lists of complaints are endless and unexhaustive.
Further down the line, in 2016, the former Chair of the Commission, Barr. Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad, MON, FCIA undertook a familiarization visit and Study Tour of some Hajj Missions, notably Pakistan, Bangledash, South Africa, Niger Republic, which revealed a glaring gap between those countries and Nigeria especially in the area of leadership, human resources and capacity.
Also, on a deeper perspective, the constant routine changes in Administrators, especially at the state level, where Executive Secretaries are charged at will leading to disruptions in programme and personnel. Most times, the appointed Secretaries spent long period learning on the job as they had little or no knowledge or experience about Hajj operations.
It was perhaps for these reasons & others like saving the country’s scarce resources spent by states and NAHCON…