Abuja – The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has urged managers and operators in Hajj and Umrah industry worldwide to close rank in order to stimulate growth of the industry.
This is contained in a statement signed by the commission’s Head of Media, Alhaji Uba Mana, in London and made available to newsmen in Abuja.
The statement quoted Alhaji Muhammed Bello, the commission’s Chairman as having given the advice in London at the third World Hajj and Umrah Convention (WHUC).
Bello reiterated the significance of the forum as it provided platform for participants to think of ways of promoting Hajj and Umrah industry worldwide.
Bello, who was represented by the NAHCON Commissioner in charge of Personnel, Policy, Management and Finance, Alhaji
Yusuf Ibrahim, said cooperation and collaboration were effective means of tackling hajj challenges globally.
“We need to move beyond talking to each other to active cooperation and collaboration on all issues of common interest.
“If we do that, we will be assured of brighter future for the Hajj and Umrah industry in the world,” he said.
He, however, tasked the convention to begin to look inwards in providing solutions to challenges of the industry.
Bello specifically advocated the need to put a stop to looking toward Saudi Government for solutions to problems associated with Hajj and Umrah.
“We need to consider moving beyond the Saudi Government solutions to our problems.
“Our tendency is to look to Saudi Authorities to solve our problems. In doing so, they dish out policies without consulting with anyone,” Bello said.
He said that a global conference such as WHUC would provide an opportunity to think of common stand on issues that affect Hajj.
Bello said such conference would also avail them of the opportunity to make recommendations that could not be ignored by the Saudi Government.
“Take for instance, the new policy they are trying to introduce and implement that Hajj Affairs officers should not own official vehicles.
“This forum can advise them in the spirit of Islam to reconsider this policy. The officials appointed by various governments should be in charge of Hajj Affairs,” Bello said.
He advised participants, whom he described as “leaders of leaders”, to cultivate the culture of building worthy successors.
“You have a responsibility to develop a worthy successor. That is, you have to train your followers on what you are doing and explain to them why you are doing it.
“If not, they will make nonsense of the gains you have achieved today,” he said.
However, Bello, urged countries that are relatively ahead of others in the areas of Hajj and Umrah management, not to hesitate to assist their less developed brothers with useful information.
The chairman recalled how a group of NAHCON officials were sent to understudy Indonesia Hajj System in April 2014 and the group returned with very useful information.
This, he said, assisted Nigeria greatly in improving the handling of Hajj operations with the resultant effect of better service delivery to our pilgrims.
“This kind gesture from Indonesia is highly commendable and should be emulated by other countries of the world.
“To other countries that are lagging behind, my advice is that they should never hesitate to ask questions and seek assistance from their more advanced brothers,” he said.