The Lagos State Government has earned accolades from the the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) for being proactive and strategic in approach to ensuring spiritual development of its pilgrims.
The Renaissance correspondent in Makkah reports that pilgrims from other states of the federation and other African countries throngged the Lagos State tents to join the Lagosians in long hours of prayers and other spiritual activities in Muna and at Mount Arafah.
Officials of NAHCON, impressed by the Lagos State’s irresistible style of daily activities, visited to Lagos Tent B plus at Muna to commend the organisers.
The Chairman of the commission, Dr. Abdullahi Mukhtar, said the state had proved to be Nigeria’s Centre Of Excellence, judging from its programmes to enlighten for the pilgrims.
“One cannot but applauded the Lagos State Officials and its pilgrims for conducting themselves in an orderly manner.
“In terms of facilities and arrangements put in place by the State Commissioner For Home Affairs, Dr. AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef, for pilgrims during the hajj exercise is commendable,” Mukhtar said.
Represented by a director, Alhaji Abdullahi Sali Modibo who led the visiting team, the chairman noted that Lagos State has continued to be a pacesetter for other states in terms of quality, effective and efficient service delivery to pilgrims.
He noted that the state serve as a spring board for other states from Nigeria and implored all hajj operators and other states of the federation to emulate Lagos State’s strategy.
“Lagos State pilgrims behaved well and demonstrated the trait of good ambassador of the state and Nigeria at large, they comport themselves orderly,” he said.
In his remarks, the commissioner, AbdulHakeem also commended the NAHCOM for setting a pace for the smooth operations of hajj operation in the country.
AbdulHakeem hailed the state pilgrims for conducting themselves orderly in Saudi Arabia.
The commissioner recalled that the NAHCON adjudged Lagos the best organised state in the 2015 hajj operations following the compliance of the pilgrims with the rules and regulations of the Saudi Arabia authorities.
He promised that the state would maintain the leading role as envisioned by the state government.
“Emerging the best organised state during hajj is not our paramount goal. Our goal is to create the best atmosphere and environment for the spiritual development of our people either at home or abroad.
“To Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, sustainable development is hinged on spiritual development of individual minds,” he said.
AbdulHakeem also seized the opportunity to highlight some achievements of the Lagos state pilgrims welfare board to include, provision of free buses to convey the pilgrims from one destination to anotherand procurement of ambulance buses to aid qualitative health care delivery during the hajj exercise.
“We run a 24-hour First Aid Clinic services at hotels where Lagos pilgrims were accommodated to address health challenges of the pilgrims.
“Lagos contingent also engaged experienced clerics to guide the pilgrims in the execution of all basic rites of hajj.
“The directional signs provided by our team around Muna to give direction to the pilgrims was another impressive thing we introduced this year,” the state Amirul Hajj said.
The Amirul Hajj, however, observed that services rendered by some foreign service providers fall short of expectation of its huge financial implications.
He, therefore, called on NAHCON to demand compliance to qualitative service delivery from different service providers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.