Chairman and Chief Executive of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Dr. Zikrullahi Hassan, took over the administration of the agency on Thursday with a promise of continuity from where the last administration stopped.
Thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for deeming him fit to steer the affairs of the all-important agency for to the “next level” in the next four years, Hassan said his “solemn pledge” was “to continue the never ending journey to improve, elevate and uplift the Hajj administration in Nigeria to an enviable height.”
He seized the occasion to pay glowing tributes to the founding fathers “whose labor and brow sweat”, he recalled, formed the rock on which the foundation of this Commission was laid in 2006 when the enabling law establishing NAHCON was passed.
The statement read: “It is now our Board’s task to carry on what the visionary pioneers Mallam Mohammed Musa Bello and Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Mohammed, (MON) started. I want to place on record my sincere commendation to the outgoing Chairman/CEO, Bar Abdullahi Mukhtar Mohammed, MON, FCIA for his positive efforts and giant strides during his tenure.
“You will be remembered for changing the face of Hajj management in Nigeria,” he saluted his predecessor.
“We understood that outworn programme is inadequate to address the need of our time especially in the area of funding and revenue generation. So we must harness new ideas to make and reduce the cost of Hajj so that many Ummah can be empowered and enabled to heed and hearken to the divine call and obligation.
“It’s indeed imperative and important for us to thread this path. It is a hard choice we have to make. I know and understand that the path towards achieving this lofty dream will be long and indeed difficult, but we cannot resist this transition. We must and are ready to lead it.
“We have also resolved to continue the journey to give and make NAHCON a global brand and recognition. This journey will not be complete until we are able to attain the lofty heights of the famed Malaysian Tabung Hajj where services and welfare of the pilgrims are run efficiently. Therefore, our journey will not be complete until we find a better way that our pilgrims would not have to wait and spend long days in Saudi Arabia or boarding the aircraft.
“These and other lofty ideas cannot be achieved singularly by me or the Board alone. We need the support and cooperation of the entire staff.
“On this note I want to assure that the Board under my leadership will make the staff and their welfare the anchor of our policies: For no one has greater stake in a viable and prosperous future of this organization than the staff. Therefore let us each of us embrace the solemn duty to contribute our energy to drive the management policy thrust.
“I want to pledge our commitment to your welfare by giving you your rights and privilege without discrimination or bias.
“In this connection, we intend to pursue the upscale capacity building and skill acquisition through Training and retraining of every category of staff to new trends and development in Hajj and also ensuring the take-off of the long awaited International Hajj Training Institute because it is in our own interest and conscience and I believe it is the only source of hope to sustain the foundation, legacies and success of this great edifice called NAHCON.
“I’m confident that with common effort and common purpose with passion and dedication, we can achieve and answer the call of history to make NAHCON the doyen and pride of all Muslim Ummah in the country and become a blessed child in whom the Federal Government will be well pleased.
“Once again, I want to thank you most sincerely hoping that together we shall steer this ship to a safe haven and glory. Thank you. God bless you and May He forever bless this organization and the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the new chairman said.
In a statement to The DEFENDER signed by spokesperson of the Commissioner, Fatima Sanda Usara, the former chairman, Barrister Abdullahi Muktar Mohammed, earlier before formally handing over the affairs of NAHCON to Hassan inside the Hajj House Conference room on Thursday February13, 2020, had praised the Almighty Allah for guiding President Muhammadu Buhari for selecting a worthy successor for NAHCON.
Mohammed expressed confidence in the capability of the new board in taking Hajj Affairs to greater heights and called on the new Chairman to make welfare of the pilgrims a priority because without pilgrims, he said, NAHCON would not have come into existence.
Barrister Mukhtar also gave gratitude to the Almighty for a successful completion of his term in office, as well as appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for giving him an opportunity to serve as Chairman of the Commission.
He thanked his board members and NAHCON staff for the support they rendered to him without which he would not have succeeded.