Tunde Bolaji – Minns
Niger state was having the highest numbers of pilgrims during the aborted 2019 hajj exercise, Executive Secretary of the State Pilgrims Welfare Board Alhaji Umar Makun Lapai, has disclosed
The Secretary spoke when he received members of the Independent Haji Reporters in his office in Minna at the weekend.
He went further to inform the visitors that site for the construction of the permanent Hajj camp has been acquired and architectural design of the camp will be forwarded to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria for ratification and joint construction with the state Government in earnest.
Members of Independent Hajj Reporters of Nigeria (.IHR, ) who were on an advocacy visit in his office, were told that the camp when completed will accommodate about 500 intending pilgrims at a time, in addition to about 300 personnel staff.
Alhaji Makun stated that the camp will be provided with modern facilities such as screening halls,with electronic screening gadgets,scanning machines,office accommodation,police post, clinic, guest lounge for relations of intending pilgrims as well as lock-up shops to generate revenue for the maintenance of the camp.
The executive secretary also pointed out that Niger State government established a clinic for the benefit of the pilgrims in one of the pilgrims Accommodation in Makkah during the 2019 Hajj and pledged to sustain the gesture in the subsequent Hajj operations.
He said the board will continue to accord priority to the welfare of pilgrims and improve capacity building of staff for smooth hajj operations.
He commended the National Coordinator of Independent Hajj Reporters for the visit and promised to strengthen the existing cordial relationship between the board and the media In addition .
He applauded the policies of the National Hajj commission of Nigeria that were designed for the benefit of the pilgrims.
The National Coordinator Ibrahim Muhammad, had earlier explained that the purpose of their visit was to formally appreciate the state Government for rewarding hard work and to congratulate the executive secretary whom He describe as a seasoned pilgrims Administrator of International standard on his appointment by the state government and also to open new doors of partnership between the board and the media.
He said hajj reporters was a registered Non Governmental organization of Muslim Journalists that monitors and reports hajj activities both in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, and point out areas of improvement in the exercise.