The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, has ratified the agreement between the government of Nigeria and Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj operations; the signing took place Sunday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Tuggar, in a bilateral meeting with the Saudi Arabian Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr Taofiq bin Fawzan AlRabiah, also affirmed that the 2024 Hajj Operations will be guided by a new culture of precision that will ensure that pre-Hajj, Hajj and Umrah activities are carried out on time. The bilateral meeting also touched on the areas of airlifting pilgrims, Nigerian government-endorsed airlines, Hajj accommodations, and the feeding of pilgrims.
“We discussed ways of improving services of Hajj and Umra on both sides; this is a process that is always being reviewed, and from what was discussed, there will be improvements in this year’s Hajj. Nigeria contributes the 4th largest number of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia and the 5th largest when it comes to Umrah,” Tuggar said.
Amb Tuggar further noted, with satisfaction, the arrangements the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had put in place to improve the 2023 Hajj operations and ensure the safety and comfort of Nigerian pilgrims.
In his reaction, AlRabiah said the Saudi authorities will review all issues raised by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and assured the Nigerian delegation of the cooperation of the Saudi Hajj authorities to work closely with Nigerian authorities to ensure a seamless 2024 Hajj and Umrah operation.
The ratification of the Hajj 2024 MoU was on the margins of the 3rd Edition of the Hajj and Umrah Conference and Exhibition, 2024; the Minister also used the occasion to formally extend an invitation to the Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah to visit Nigeria.
The Nigerian delegation to the ratification and 2024 Hajj and Umrah Conference had officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), including the commission’s Chairman/CEO, Malam Jalal Ahmad Arabi, Nigeria’s acting Ambassador in Saudi Arabia
Ambassador Mahmud Lele, and Consul General in Jeddah, Ambassador Bello Hussaini Kazaure