Hajj: CSO Advises NAHCON to Enter Long-Term Agreements with Service Providers for Cost Reduction


The Independent Hajj Reporters, a faith-based civil society organization, has put forth a series of recommendations aimed at addressing the escalating cost of Hajj and optimizing the efficiency of the entire process.

In a statement signed by its national coordinator, Ibrahim Mohammed, the organization urged the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON and State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards and Agencies (SMPWBAs) to consider strategic measures.


Firstly, the organization suggested the initiation of long-term agreements with Saudi Arabian service providers. This, it argues, would serve as a countermeasure to the adverse impact of the fluctuating foreign exchange rate between the dollar and the Naira. By establishing stable, long-term contracts, the organization believes that Hajj fare templates could be more effectively managed, contributing to financial stability and predictability.

Secondly, the organization emphasized the importance of reducing the number of Saudi-based service providers. The rationale behind this recommendation is to enhance coordination and supervision, streamlining the operational processes for both NAHCON and the States. This reduction, the organization argues, would mitigate challenges and ensure a smoother systematisation of activities.

Moreover, the organization stressed the need for uniformity and standards in Hajj services. Specifically, it proposed that services such as accommodation, feeding, and car syndicates should exhibit a degree of consistency and conformity across the board. The aim is to create a more streamlined and organized experience for Nigerian pilgrims.

The organization also emphasized the challenges of the traditional yearly signing of Hajj service contracts due to the shortened pre-Hajj preparation period in the new Saudi Hajj calendar. It advocates adopting long-term contracts for stability in fare templates and effective long-term planning by service providers.

To support these recommendations, the organization provided the example of Malaysian Tambung Hajj, which recently signed long-term contracts with Saudi companies to reduce Hajj costs. The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar explained that these contracts covered accommodation, flights, and food, providing fixed prices for an extended period.

Furthermore, the organization suggested that the ongoing expansion projects in the Misfalah area of Makkah, resulting in the demolition of buildings previously used by Nigerian pilgrims, could add pressure to the pilgrim’s accommodation rental market. In light of this, it emphasized the importance of long-term contracts to minimize the number of pre-Hajj trips undertaken by NAHCON and the States and to reduce the overall number of service providers.

The Independent Hajj Reporters also emphasized the challenges facing the 2024 Hajj, including increased expenses and time-consuming constraints. It proposed criteria for selecting service providers, such as their experience, record of service delivery, past dealings with Nigerian pilgrims, and capacity to handle large numbers of pilgrims.

Lastly, the organization suggested that NAHCON could embed taxes and commissions in long-term contracts to create a self-sustaining Hajj industry. Additionally, it recommended the inclusion of a caveat allowing the termination of long-term contracts if service providers fail to meet the agreed-upon standards of service delivery. Overall, these recommendations aim to foster a more efficient, cost-effective, and streamlined process for Nigerian pilgrims participating in Hajj.

Read also:

House of Representatives Expresses Disapproval of Saudi Arabia’s Cancellation of 264 Nigerian Visas.

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