By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The management of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), has visited the Comptroller General of Immigration Service, Muhammadu Babandede to facilitate smooth coordination and eventual realisation of the Makkah Route Initiative (MRI) aspiration of the NAHCON.
Speaking during the visit, the NAHCON boss appreciated role of Nigerian Immigration Service in the success of Hajj operations. Hassan introduced the MRI and solicited collaboration for the success of the initiative, the service which he said is an important stakeholder in Hajj exercise. He added that the initiative when begun will ease time spent in the airports during screening and ease the movement of Nigerian pilgrims contingent to Saudi Arabia for Hajj operations.
The NAHCON boss also informed that five other countries have already commenced the homeland screening procedure and Nigeria will hopefully be the next.
While appreciating the visit by NAHCON management, Babandede promised to deploy all resources for the success of the project. He identified key areas where the NIS has made improvement in screening of international passengers and made suggestions for further enhancement and collaboration in matters of pilgrimage. Babandede was a former NAHCON Commissioner representing NIS.
Accorsing to Fatiha Sanda Usara,
Head, Public Affairs, NAHCON, the commission will embark on further meetings to ensure that the MRI becomes a reality in the next Hajj.
So far, the NAHCON Chairman has held similar coordination meetings with the Minister of Interior, Ra’uf Arigbesola and the Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Captain Rabi’u Hamisu Yadudu,