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NAHCON's elimination of housing agents good for pilgrims - Civil society

Nigerian News Update » Nigerian Newspapers
Daily Trust Newspaper
The elimination of middle men and agents in accommodation procurement for Nigerian pilgrims by NAHCON will sanitise the system, Independent Hajj Reporters has said.
National Hajj Commission of Nigeria of Nigeria (NAHCON) said it saved about $12.3 million dollars by cutting off these agents from the housing pricing this year.
A statement by the civil society’s national coordinator, Ibrahim Muhammed and publicity secretary, Abubakar Mahmoud said "for years, agents and middle men exploited some states pilgrims welfare boards by charging them far higher than the exact value of pilgrims accommodation especially in Makkah."
NAHCON chairman Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammed said recently that through their direct contract negotiations with landlords saved Nigeria about $12.3 million, meaning that pilgrims  for this year's hajj are expected to pay SR616 ($164) which is far less than what is paid last year.
The new policy ensures that only Saudi based limited liability companies with share value of SR500 million will be allowed to transact business with the states.
The statement said some states in the Northwest paid as much as SR4,000 each for an accommodation that cost less than SR2,000 during the 2016 hajj exercise. 
The civil society said if comprehensively implemented, the new policy will drastically reduce the amount being paid by pilgrims for accommodation and other services.
"This policy will also ensure that pilgrim get a commensurate value for their money," the statement said.
"It is our hope that the elimination of middle men from accommodation negotiation will guarantee same quality of accommodation for pilgrims in Madina and Makkah in this year hajj," the statement said.
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