By Fatima Sanda Usara
Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), has disclosed the possibility of 2020 Hajj taking place.
The Chairman revealed this in an interview with Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, in his office in Hajj House. Alhaji Hassan expressed optimism that indicators emanating from Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia projects that the Kingdom will hopefully witness a decline of the COVID19 infection in the country from April 21st and possible eradication of the ailment by May 2020. This therefore gives the Commission hope that there is a tendency of the Hajj taking place if the Almighty wills it to take place. This explains why NAHCON has not stopped preparations towards 2020 Hajj. The Chairman informed that he and senior management staff have been reporting to the office and deliberating on every development as a result of the pandemic.
Alhaji Kunle Hassan encouraged intending pilgrims not to feel reluctant in making Hajj fare deposits as a situation may arise where number of pilgrims may be reduced as a strategy towards managing the COVID19 pandemic. Should this happen, slots will be offered to intending pilgrims on first come first served formula. He thus encouraged Muslim intending to participate in the 2020 pilgrimage to pray and imbibe all the necessary physical, mental and spiritual readiness towards making the Hajj.
The NAHCON boss further explained that despite the optimism, the Commission has also made plans pending failure of the Hajj holding. Fortunately, he expressed, all arrangements entered with Saudi Arabian service providers are legally backed hence, the Commission does not anticipate any monetary losses on its side. Though a 5% commitment has been made from the Commission’s purse prior to Saudi Arabia’s directive to keep Hajj preparations on hold, however, this does not affect intending pilgrims nor their funds. He assured that pilgrims who made deposits will be fully repaid if Hajj 2020 is cancelled and if such depositors request for a refund. They may also choose to keep their deposits lodged with the Commission until the following year’s Hajj. Whichever option the intending pilgrims choose, the Commission is fully prepared.
What other arrangements does the Commission have towards 2020 Hajj? Please stay tuned for the full interview on FRCN as follows: Hajj A Spiritual Journey: Friday 12: 30pm on English Network Service; Hajj Na Spiritual Journey (Pidgin): Fridays, 2:30 PM on Treasure FM Port-Harcourt (South South); Alalobo, (Yoruba) Bond F.M Lagos(South West) Thursday 6:30pm-7:00pm; Hajj Mabroor (Hausa) Radio Nigeria Kaduna (Hausa Service), Tuesday 12noon, repeat, Friday 7pm; Hijju: Eunandu Allah (Fulfulde), Hausa Service of Radio Nigeria Kaduna, Wednesday at 0830hrs, repeat broadcast on Mondays at 2100hrs: Hajj: Njem Di Nso, Treasure FM, (Igbo) Port-Harcourt, Friday, 1:30 P.M.