Hajj commission urges Saudi Arabia remove direct entry ban on Nigeria


NAHCON Chairman, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan and Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Faisal Bin Ibraheem Al-Ghamidy

By Salisu Sani-Idris

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has appealed to the Saudi Arabian government to reconsider its suspension of direct Nigerian flight into the country.

Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, NAHCON, made the appeal when he visited the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Nigeria in Abuja.

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Hassan explained that the visit was to discuss issues of mutual benefit to both countries, especially regarding the annual Holy Pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia by Nigerian Muslims.
The Chairman added that the visit was also to press for the lifting of the flight ban as requested by the Federal Government.

“It is a request that has already been advanced through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other sister agencies,” he said.
Hassan appreciated the constant support and cooperation extended to NAHCON and Nigeria in general by the Kingdom.
He also lauded the Saudi Arabian authorities for their efforts to ensure compensation for families of victims of 2015 crawler crane collapsed in Mecca.
Responding, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Faisal Bin Ibraheem Al-Ghamidy, expressed hope that the flight suspension would soon end.
He pledged his country’s support to Nigeria whenever necessary.
On the crane crash compensation, the diplomat said that Saudi Arabia was working to ensure that the compensation was paid to the heirs or representatives of the victims as soon as possible.

The Saudi Arabian General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) had on Dec. 8, announced the suspension of direct flights from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia over COVID-19 pandemic.

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