EXCLUSIVE: How NAHCON facilitated the transportation of pilgrims’ local food stuff from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia 

by admin

Unknown to many, virtually all the ingredients used to prepare food for Nigerian pilgrims in local delicacies during this year’s hajj under the banner of Ithraa Alkhair, the Nigeria-approved service provider, especially within the holy sites were brought from Nigeria through the efforts of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).

A staff of Ithraa Alkhair who spoke to HAJJ REPORTERS in confidence said the company had to undertake the efforts in compliance with NAHCON’s directives to feed Nigerian pilgrims with local dishes this year.

‘We shipped over 5000 bags containing different food items and ingredients for soup from Nigeria to ensure that we prepare meals that has local taste for Nigerian Pilgrims as directed by NAHCON.  

Even after we purchased those items, NAHCON assisted us greatly in ensuring that it was transported to Saudi Arabia on-time,” the source said. 

The source further said the purchase of the foodstuff from Nigeria has added an economic value chain to those who supplied the items in Nigeria. “This has been the vision of the Chairman of the board of Mutawif for African non-Arab, Dr Ahmed Sindi,” he said.

In addition, Ithraa Alkhair reportedly recruited and transported about 50 workers from Nigeria who are currently working with the company in their various kitchens in Makkah. They are Nigerians who will return home with their pay check thereby creating more financial opportunities for them and their families.

“We also hired nutritionist from Nigeria who work in our kitchen and in sourcing for Nigerian delicacies to prepare meals daily. “NAHCON asked us to provide meals that has local taste to Nigerian pilgrims and the Chairman of the board of Ithraa Alkhair promised that he will do whatever it takes to satisfy the Guests of Al Rahman” he added.

He also told us that Dr Sindi personally supervised the importation of the food items from Nigeria and ensured that supplies meet the requirements of the standard set by NAHCON.

“That is the reason why pilgrims didn’t complain much about the taste of the food this year,” he said.

It will be recalled that NAHCON had promised that Nigerian pilgrims will be fed with local menu throughout their stay in Saudi Arabia during this year’s Hajj.

As a follow up, HAJJ REPORTERS learned that the commission directed the appointed caterers to ensure that pilgrims are fed with their preferred meals.

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