By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has initiated the process of licensing State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards, commissions and agencies across the country.
A statement issued yesterday by the head of media of the commission, Uba Mana, said the decision was in furtherance of its statutory function granted it by section 4 subsection 1 (a and i) of the NAHCON Establishment Act 2006.
A committee drawn from the licensing, inspectorate and legal units of the commission has been constituted to visit all the state boards to inspect their office accommodations, facilities and manpower, which are prerequisites for the issuance of licenses to them.
The committee is headed by Alhaji Muhammed Usman Liman. The delegation which has begun its national assignment reported that the process has been hitch-free.
The section 4 subsection 1 (a and i) of the NAHCON Establishment Act 2006, empowers the Commission to licence, regulate, supervise and perform oversight functions over organizations, associations (corporate or non-corporate) or similar bodies engaged in Hajj and Umrah operations.
It also provides guidelines and rules that will ensure that states pilgrims welfare agencies provide appropriate welfare services and guides for pilgrims.
According to NAHCON the exercise is carried out to ensure that state boards, commissions and agencies have the relevant facilities and manpower to provide and render services to pilgrims during Hajj operations.
The commission said it would only allocate the Hajj slots for 2017 to the states according to their licensing grading of A, B and C.
Liman disclosed that seven states have complied with the directives issued to them. The states are Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa and Bauchi.
He described the general assessment of the visited states as encouraging, adding each individual state was scored according to the laid down guidelines. He, however, urged other states to await the team as each state will be graded according to its capacity.
“The inspections concentrated on the office accommodation and its facilities, as well as the manpower of the boards,” he said.