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NAHCON announces fares, airlines for 2023 Hajj



NAHCON announces fares, airlines for 2023 Hajj

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Friday in Abuja announced eight different 2023 hajj fares regime for the Northern States and other parts of the country.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NAHCON, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, made the announcement at a news conference shortly after a meeting with the Chief Executives of the 36 States and FCT pilgrims boards, agencies and commissions.

“The 2023 Hajj fare incidentally has eight different costs. Pilgrims in Maiduguri and Yola departure centre in the North East will pay the sum of N2,890,000 and this includes their 800 dollars Basic Travel Allowance (BTA).

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” For the other Northern States, we have agreed that the cost is N2,919,000, we now move to South which has six different price regime, Edo State is N2,968,000 and the entire South-South and South East are in this same price regime.

” Ekiti and Ondo States N2,880,000, Osun state is N2,993,000 and Cross River State incidentally has the cheapest which is N2,943,000, while that of Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states is N2,999,000.”

Hassan explained that the inflation rate both in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia as well as the scarcity of aviation fuel were largely responsible for the increase in the fare when compare with the 2022 fare which was N2.5million.

” And I must also say that there has been an increase in the exchange rate of Naira to a dollar at the official rate.

” However, NAHCON and the state pilgrims boards and agencies made several efforts in order to keep the fare at the barest minimum level, while also considering the economic feasibilities and reality of the situation.
” I am sure all of you will also agree with me that there has been a global trend in countries of the world by hike in the hajj fare”, he said.

He revealed that NAHCON and all the 36 states and the FCT pilgrims’ boards have reviewed the 2022 hajj operation and adopted strategies for a hitch-free 2023 operation.

” We have agreed with all having reviewed the 2022 operation to do everything that will make us to get every pilgrim that registered to Saudi Arabia in good time.

” We have also discussed the issue of Basic Travelled Allowance (BTA) and Yellow Card and we have devised means to ensure that we are in control of the situation .

” We have also agreed that there will be zero tolerance for flight delay or cancelation this year and if there is such there will be sanction on the state or pilgrim or airline that is responsible for it”, he said.

Hassan also said that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved seven airlines that the commission was going to operate with this year.
According to him, Air Peace, Azman Air, Flynas, Aero Contractors and Max Air, will fly pilgrims from the 36 states and FCT, while Arik Air and Value Jet Air will serve as chattered flights for the Licenced Tour Operators.
He noted that NAHCON and State Pilgrims boards have agreed to close the

portal for new registration of intending pilgrims who are going through the Hajj Saving Scheme for hajj on April 7.
” After deliberations with the Chief Executives of the State Pilgrims Welfare Boards, we have agreed on the day that the intending pilgrims must complete their money.
” Secondly, we have also agreed that today April 7, we are closing the portal for new registration of intending pilgrims who are going through the Hajj Saving Scheme for hajj.
” But we have also agreed that April 21, which is two weeks from today will be the day for the final remittance of funds by those who want to go to hajj either through the hajj saving scheme or through the normal pay as go.
” We have also agreed that May 21, 2023, will be the day for the inaugural flight for the 2023 Hajj”, he said.

Also, the Executive Chairman, Yobe Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mai Aliyu Usmam, said all the states executives were part of the decision on the 2023 hajj fares.

He said that members of the various boards went to Saudi Arabia with the NAHCON officials twice, adding that all decisions and agreements were done together in the interest of the intending pilgrims.

NAHCON announces fares, airlines for 2023 Hajj

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CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds




CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

The Concerned Citizens of North East (CCNE), a non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting good governance, transparency, and accountability, has welcomed a recent Supreme Court ruling mandating the immediate release of funds earmarked for local government areas (LGAs).

The was contained in a press statement signed by CCNE’s Secretary General Babangida Inuwa Muhammad, marks a significant victory for grassroots development and governance in the region.

The Supreme Court’s decision addresses longstanding issues of fund misallocation and diversion that have impeded local development efforts.

By upholding constitutional provisions ensuring direct allocation of funds to LGAs, the court has bolstered principles of transparency, accountability, and effective governance.

CCNE views this ruling as pivotal, asserting that it empowers local authorities and strengthens the foundation for sustainable development across communities.

“This landmark decision ensures that LGAs receive the financial resources necessary for development and governance, reinforcing transparency, accountability, and good governance principles,” stated CCNE in their press release.

The organization emphasized the ruling’s potential to revitalize local governance, enabling communities to better tackle their unique challenges through empowered local authorities. CCNE called upon relevant authorities to promptly implement the court’s decision, ensuring funds are utilized judiciously to benefit residents.

“We believe this judgment will enhance LGAs’ capacity to deliver essential services, improve infrastructure, and drive socio-economic development,” CCNE affirmed.

CCNE also urged local officials to transparently and efficiently allocate funds, prioritizing projects that directly benefit residents.

They pledged to monitor the judgment’s implementation closely, collaborating with stakeholders to promote accountability and good governance at all levels within the region.

“This ruling signifies a renewed commitment to decentralization and local governance, crucial for addressing community-specific challenges,” CCNE added.

Looking ahead, CCNE reiterated its commitment to advocating for the rights and welfare of Northeastern communities, ensuring local authorities are equipped to drive sustainable development.

They affirmed their ongoing role in safeguarding community interests and fostering an environment conducive to transparent and effective governance.

However, CCNE’s support for the Supreme Court’s decision reflects a broader commitment to advancing accountable governance and empowering local communities.

By championing the efficient use of allocated funds and advocating for sustained development efforts, CCNE aims to foster a region where grassroots needs are met and local governance thrives.

CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

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Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA



Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 - NECA

Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), says the private sector remains committed to the N57,000 earlier proposed at the Tripartite Committee meeting on National Minimum Wage.

NECA’s Director-General, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, in a statement on Sunday, said the amount represented 90 per cent increase in the national minimum wage.

Oyerinde said that this was notwithstanding ongoing challenges, made worst by rising interest rates, astronomical logistics cost, increasing energy tariff and multiple taxes, levies and fees.

“With organised businesses declaring over one trillion naira in combined losses and many shutting down their businesses for different reasons, while others are relocating to other climes, the ability to pay the prevailing N30,000 was already compromised.

“It will be practically impossible to guarantee enterprise sustainability and job security with the current demands of organised labour,’’ he said.

The director-general, however, said that NECA would continue to support the welfare of workers and the protection of their jobs, which could only be guaranteed by the survival of the enterprise.

Following negotiations on the national minimum wage, he urged the tripartite committee to prioritise job creation and job security.

Oyerinde said that the call was in view of the worrisome and increasing rate of unemployment in the country.

According to him, the committee should refocus its effort on protecting jobs, boost the capacity of the private sector to create more jobs and ensure sustainability and ability to pay.

He said that productivity should be a key driver of higher wages.

“According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the combined rate of unemployment and time-related underemployment as a share of the labour force population (LU2) increased to 17.3 per cent in Q3 2023 from 15.5 per cent in Q2 2023.

“In specific terms, the unemployment rate increased significantly in Q3 2023 at 5.0 per cent.

“With these figures, more efforts should be concentrated on keeping more people in employment, while government continues to implement its planned interventions in transportation, food security and general macro-economic stability,” Oyerinde said.

Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA

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Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women



Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to mandate public healthcare institutions to provide free medical treatment for pregnant women during and after delivery.

The call was sequel to the adoption of a motion by Rep. Mohammed Shehu (PDP-Bauchi) at plenary on Wednesday.

They also urged the ministry to implement routine checks to ensure continuity, compliance by medical personnel, and sustainability of childbirth processes.

Moving the motion, Shehu said that the government established public healthcare institutions to provide medical services to humanity.

He added that drugs were supplied to the institutions and equipped with modern medical facilities and charged with the responsibility of handling healthcare-related matters.

Shehu said though healthcare services were not restricted to pregnant women, efforts to encourage free treatment for expectant mothers have not been fully realised.

He said that giving the fertility statistics in the country, there was need for free medical treatment for pregnant women to boost the country’s fertility rate.

“Nigeria is grappling with high disease rates, resulting in an annual maternal mortality rate of expectant mothers and children due to pregnancy complications and the polio virus.

“Further aware that government requires public healthcare institutions to have medical professionals, give adequate attention to patients, including pregnant women, during childbirth to address complications and find permanent solutions.

“There is a need for the government to prioritise policy actions aimed at improving healthcare delivery systems, particularly for pregnant women, to alleviate their hardships and boost their confidence,” he said.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu mandated the Committee on Healthcare Services and Healthcare Institutions to liaise with the Minister of Health and Social Welfare to ensure compliance.

The committee is to report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

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