The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has commenced the screening of air carriers for 2019 Hajj airlift.
The commission, on Tuesday, inaugurated a 32-man screening committee to assess the application forms from air carriers.
About seven air carriers applied for the 2019 Hajj airlift exercise, according to a statement by NAHCON’s Head, Public Affairs Division, Fatima Sanda Usara.
The statement said the exercise was to ensure suitable passenger air carriers and cargo freighters are selected for 2019 Hajj season.
The Committee, it said, has NAHCON’s Commissioner Operations, Mr Moddibo Saleh as Chairman.
Other members were drawn from aviation agencies, financial crimes institutions, customs, office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, NAHCON Board members, and representatives of Chief Executives of State Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards.
The statement quoted NAHCON’s Chairman, Barr. Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad, as admonishing the committee members to insist for the best services on behalf of the pilgrims.
He also urged them to remain guided by the criteria crafted together by different sister sectors of government in determining those carriers that will qualify for the slots.
Barrister Muhammad congratulated the air carriers for declaring interest to participate in airlifting Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, and urged them to take in good faith any outcome of the screening exercise.
“As for those who will scale through the screening, NAHCON’s Chairman called on them to explore the possibility of doing business with Private Tour Operators in conveying their pilgrims numbering up to 20,000.
“Doing this, he believes, will reduce the hitches experienced yearly from that sector.