2024 Hajj: I want Kebbi pilgrims airlifted from state airport

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Governor Nasir Idris of Kebbi State says his administration has provided all the financial support required to make Sir Ahmad Bello International Airport, Birnin Kebbi, suitable for the 2024 Hajj operation.

Mr Idris made this known while receiving the National Chairman of the National Hajji Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Jalal Ahmad-Arabi, in Birnin Kebbi on Saturday.

He said, “I paid all what is required to standardise the airport suitable for 2024 Hajj exercise because I want our intending pilgrims to depart from Kebbi.

“That is why I ordered for the establishment of Aviation Fuel Depot, to enable aircraft refuel here for convenience.”

Mr Idris also appreciated the operational efficiency of Flynas Airline, which evacuated all pilgrims from the state directly to Madina, in Saudi Arabia during the 2023 Hajj exercise.

On the issue of Hajj fares, the governor said that all the fares paid by the intending pilgrims from the state were immediately transferred to the NAHCON account without delay.

“We have no reason to put such fares into a deposit account to generate interest.
“The money is not government’s money, it belongs to the people, these people are either farmers, herders or traders, who have toiled over the years to gather the fares to enable them to discharge their religious obligation,” he said.

Mr Idris described the appointment of Mr Ahmad-Arabi by President Ahmed Tinubu as meritorious based on his track records in the Federal Civil Service.

“I will give you every possible assistance to succeed in your endeavour of managing the prominent organ of government, NAHCON,” he assured.

He expressed satisfaction over the performance of the Chairman of Kebbi State Pilgrims Welfare Agency, Faruk Musa-Yaro, since his appointment to that position.

“I expanded the board membership of the agency to an unprecedented level since the creation of the state, to pave way for the agency to perform its operations diligently,” the governor said.

Earlier, Mr Ahmad-Arabi thanked the state government for facilitating the activities of the commission to be the leading state in the federation to discharge its obligation towards the success of the 2024 Hajj.

“I am here in Kebbi, to thank you and to inspect facilities at Sir Ahmad Bello International Airport and Hajj camp, preparatory to the commencement of the 2024 Hajj exercise.

“Let me congratulate you in advance that the Sir Ahmad Bello International Airport will be used for 2024 Hajj operations.

“Mr governor, I am also here to commend your state chairman, pilgrims’ agency, Musa-Yaro, for performing excellently. I want to inform you that he has now become my closest confident on Hajj exercise,” he noted.

READ ALSO: 2024 Hajj: NAHCON increases Hajj fare amidst naira crash

In his remarks, Mr Musa-Yero commended the governor for approving all requests, including running costs of the agency, adding that the benevolence of the governor had made the agency the best in the country.

The chairman informed the governor that the NAHCON national chairman had been extending all necessary support and encouragement towards ensuring a smooth and hitch-free Hajj exercise.

(NAN)

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