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Nigeria, Saudi Arabia sign deal on 2024 Hajj



Nigerian pilgrims can breathe a sigh of relief as the Federal Government has secured a smoother journey to Mecca for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage.

On Sunday, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, solidifying cooperation between the two nations and streamlining the Hajj process for Nigerian pilgrims.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Yusuf Tuggar and National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Acting Chairman and CEO Jalal Arabi sealed the deal on behalf of their respective countries, marking a significant step towards a hassle-free pilgrimage for thousands of Nigerians.

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A statement from NAHCON to that effect reads, “Today, 7 January 7, 2024, Nigeria under the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, solidified its commitment to a seamless Hajj exercise by signing the 2024 (1445AH) Hajj Memorandum of Understanding with the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

“The signing ceremony held in Jeddah had in attendance key representatives from Nigeria led by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, and Jalal Arabi, Ag. Chairman/CEO of NAHCON. The host country’s contingent was led by the Saudi Arabian Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Taufiq Al-Rabiah”.

“Prior to the MoU signing, the two Ministers held a brief discussion where Ambassador Yusuf requested for a lasting solution to the shortage of tents in Mina and pressed for more favourable terms for Nigerian Carriers during Hajj airlifts. The Nigerian team also invited the Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah to visit Nigeria.”

In response, the Saudi minister, Rabiah, acknowledged the challenge of space in Mina and assured Nigerian authorities that “efforts are being made to maximise the use of the available two million square metres for the over two million pilgrims performing Hajj annually”.

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