Following the yearly high turnover of intending pilgrims from Nigeria to perform holy Hajj, the Federal Government has appealed to the Saudi Arabian government to increase its Hajj pilgrims’ quota, in view of the increase in demand for Hajj seats from Nigerians wishing to undertake the religious journey.
Nigeria’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Alhaji Yahaya Lawal made the appeal at the sidelines of a meeting of the Organization Of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, in Jeddah where the Saudi Arabian Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah was updating the OIC countries delegates Permanent Representatives on the arrangements, efforts and facilities put in place for the 2023 Hajj.
Lawal, according to a statement issued on Friday by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, said at present, Nigeria is the fourth or fifth country with the largest number of pilgrims that participate in Umrah and Hajj exercises in the Kingdom, year-in, year-out.
The envoy further reiterated his earlier advice to Nigerian pilgrims to be good ambassadors of their country and religion by being law abiding and respecting the laid down rules and regulations for ease of interaction while in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage.
Lawal further enjoined Nigerian pilgrims to make maximum use of Allah’s given opportunity to maximize their temporal and spiritual benefits of the Hajj exercise.
He also advised them to diligently utilise facilities put in place to ensure their comfort, wellbeing and ease of performing the Hajj rites and other religious activities.
The Saudi Arabian Minister of Hajj and Umrah, while highlighting the achievements so far reached in Hajj development as carried out by the Custodians of the two Holy Mosques, said that all skills and efforts will be geared towards the enhancement of Hajj experience for the global 1.5 billion Muslim community.
Al-Rabiah equally agreed to the submission that the Saudi authorities should include Nigeria in the Makkah Route Initiative, which at present has seven countries across the world.