Saudi Arabia succumbs to FG pressure, grants Nigerians request of 2024 Hajj Slots Increased from 10 - 40.

The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has granted the Federal Government’s request to increase the 2024 Hajj slots for Nigerian tour operators from 10 to 40.

Initially, Saudi Arabia had announced that only 5% of each participating country’s licensed tour operators would be allowed to conduct the 2024 Hajj exercise, resulting in Nigeria having only 10 slots.

Following persistent engagement by the federal government with the Saudi Ministry, focused on promoting indigenous entrepreneurs to support the country’s socioeconomic development, the decision was reversed in Nigeria’s favor.

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) released a press statement on Sunday night, confirming the development.

The statement outlined the criteria for screening the initially announced 110 qualified tour operators.

The selection process considered factors such as operational capacity, years of experience, historical antecedents, and a clean operational record.

The top 40 scoring tour operators, evaluated by a seven-member team of experts, were deemed qualified and approved based on their ability, experience, and service quality.

NAHCON encouraged the remaining 70 operators that qualified from the initial 110 to collaborate with the approved 40 in fulfilling this religious obligation.

Stressing the importance of inclusivity, NAHCON announced plans to hold a meeting with all 110 qualified operators to explore avenues for collaboration and ensure the involvement of all parties in the Hajj process.

The Commission expressed its commitment to establishing a strong partnership before issuing letters of approval.

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