8th June, 2010
As the 2010 pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia approaches, intending pilgrims have been warned to be wary of fake hajj operators.
The warning was given by the National Amir of The Companion, Alhaji Ahmed Tunde Popoola at a monthly lecture organised by the group at the Lagos State House of Assembly Central Mosque.
Popoola said the rate at which fake hajj operators were springing up was becoming alarming and called on intending pilgrims to be careful in dealing with them.
â€œIntending pilgrims can identify fake or original hajj operators by requesting for their licence to operate, issued by the National Hajj Commission (NACOM).â€
”Such a person must be a recognised member of the Association of Hajj and Umrah Operators,” he said.
He also encouraged intending pilgrims to attend fora organised by the Hajj operators, stressing that, â€œattending the forum will give them opportunity to relate with the operators and ask questions relating to the smooth of operation of Hajj.â€
Speaking on the topic, Hajj Operation: Economics, Chain Links and Business Opportunities, the CEO of Focal Point Travels, Alhaji Abdul Jaleel Olori-Aje, identified several business opportunities during Hajj and Umrah.
The biggest opportunity during Hajj and Umrah, he revealed, is food. ”Saudi-Arabia is a place where there is scarcity of indigenous foods and Nigerian pilgrims have no access to these foods. It is a great opportunity for such person to invest in food business in Saudi Arabia,â€ he disclosed.
He identified other opportunities as buying of gift items and selling them to pilgrims, packaging of water, sales of ram, among others.
â€œPeople going for Hajj will need some things when they get there and they may not likely get those things since most of them are going for the first time. This will serve as business opportunities for somebody who intends to do business during Hajj by making provision for items needed by the pilgrims,â€ he explained further.