By Salisu Sani-Idris
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), said it had reached an agreement with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) for availability of ‘Jet A’ fuel for seamless transportation of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NAHCON, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, made this known in a statement issued by Fatima Usara, Assistant Director, Public Affairs of the commission, on Friday in Abuja.
Hassan advised the approved air carriers for this year’s hajj to meet the NNPC for briefing and perfection of the arrangement.
The chairman said that the commission decided to consult with the aviation experts to seek professional advice.
He assured that the commission would work with the advice of industry’s stakeholders in the interest and safety of Nigerian pilgrims.
Hassan said that steps had already been taken by the commission to curtail any possible drawbacks in the transportation of pilgrims once it commenced.
“In order to ensure ceaseless supply of Jet A fuel for the purpose of the airlift, NAHCON has made arrangements with NNPC to that end,”he added.
On his part, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Musa Nuhu, stated that his organisation had inspected all the designated hajj airlift airports to take stock of all security and functional facilities.
He called on the selected carriers to adhere strictly to the terms and conditions of engagement that they would sign.
The director-general also advised the air carriers to meet up with the requirements that would be spelt out in the agreements as NCAA was ready to sanction any possible non compliance.
He decried the issue of delay and cancellation of flights experienced during the 2022 hajj, saying that they had ripple effects on hajj operation in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
Nuhu sad: “Over this perpetual bottleneck, NCAA was earlier invited by General Authority on Civil Aviation (GACA) to measure the level of effect it has on Madina and Jeddah airports’ Hajj operations.
” Hence, NCAA has laid down stringent measures to avoid cancellations and flight delays this year.”
He also expressed concern over the closure of the airspace of the war-torn Sudan. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/Bashir Rabe Mani