Our Nigeria News Magazine
The news is by your side.

NAHCON Warns Pilgrims: Avoid Smuggling Prohibited Items into Saudi Arabia

As Chairman Addresses Staff Financial Constraints**

NAHCON Warns Pilgrims: Avoid Smuggling Prohibited Items into Saudi Arabia

Jerry Adesewo

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has issued a stern warning to intending pilgrims for the 2024 Hajj, advising them to refrain from carrying illicit items such as drugs, kola nuts, and cigarettes into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Pilgrims are reminded that Saudi Arabia, a nation deeply rooted in religious and cultural heritage, enforces strict anti-drug trafficking laws, with the penalty for such offenses being death.

NAHCON emphasized that the primary purpose of the pilgrimage is worship, and pilgrims should not engage in activities that violate the sanctity of Hajj. The Hajj period is a time for spiritual reflection and prayer, necessitating respect for the laws and customs of the host country.

Read Also: NAHCON Advances Visa Processing for 2024 Hajj Pilgrims

Furthermore, NAHCON has cautioned pilgrims to be vigilant at airports to avoid unknowingly carrying prohibited items. Pilgrims are urged to safeguard their honor and dignity, as smuggling can tarnish their reputation and that of their nation.

State Pilgrims Boards are advised to collaborate fully with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and other related agencies to apprehend those attempting to smuggle prohibited items, thus avoiding embarrassment and delays during screening in both countries.

In another development, the financial downturn impacting many aspects of the 2024 Hajj operations has also affected the payment of NAHCON staff stipends. NAHCON regrets this situation, acknowledging the exertions Hajj operations place on staff and their families. Due to financial constraints, certain allowances peculiar to NAHCON staff will remain suspended for the time being.

Despite these challenges, the Commission remains hopeful that conditions will improve and that staff allowances may be reassessed, even if minimally. This year, staff will be given the option to return to Nigeria after 21 days of service if they choose.

NAHCON Chairman Malam Jalal Arabi communicated these financial constraints to staff on offshore assignments via a Zoom meeting, explaining the Commission’s tight situation and seeking their understanding. This financial strain also led to a request for medical volunteerism from National Medical Team members. Allowances for all operational committee members, including the Media Team, Ulama, Security, and other stakeholders, remain affected due to budgetary limitations.

The Chairman solicited maximum support and cooperation, aware that not all will be pleased with this departure from past practices. He emphasized that the current situation reflects the financial reality of the entire country.

Due to these constraints, not all staff members were deployed for the offshore assignment. Normally, staff deployment for offshore operations is staggered based on task requirements, but current financial circumstances necessitated difficult decisions to ensure operational viability.

The NAHCON Chairman acknowledged the dedication and commitment of his staff and expressed gratitude for their understanding during this challenging period. He reassured all stakeholders of the Commission’s continued efforts to navigate these financial challenges while prioritizing the well-being of pilgrims, personnel, and the success of the Hajj.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.