Hajj 2024: Nigerian pilgrims, stakeholders commend Service providers for improved feeding arrangements at Holy sites

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Nigerian pilgrims performing Hajj 2024 have commended Saudi Arabia-based service providers Ithraa Alkhair for improved feeding arrangements at Mina and Arafat.

HAJJ REPORTERS first observed the improved feeding arrangements when the Nigerian contingent moved to the tent city of Mina Thursday evening and found meals waiting for them in their various tents, a clear departure from the past when Pilgrims often had to wait long hours after arrival to get their first meal of the day 

Our team in Makkah went round to speak to some pilgrims and also sought for feedback from our social media handles as well as other key stakeholders to get their reactions regarding the feeding arrangements.

One of the pilgrims, Muyideen Bayonle Oriyomi particularly commended the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) saying the commission “has been doing well and good for pilgrims. We are massively being taken care of.”

Another pilgrim, Shuaibu Tahir Imam simply said “In Mina it’s Good.  In Arafat, it’s very good.” On her part, female pilgrim, Sameera Baba said “Alhamdullilah in Mina and Arafat.”

Another respondent, AbdulFatai Lukman there was enough food in Mina and Arafat.  “Unending Rice and ¼ chicken, enough snack and Juice, apples and Oranges in abundance. We got a royal treatment”

Shamsu Abdulkadir Gusau on his part said the service providers this year “ have done an excellent job…we were giving a Royal treatment…..Bravo!”

Other pilgrims such as King Umar, Faisal Taub Adamu, Bilal Bin Muhammed, Isiyaku Dan Mallam and Haruna Ahmed Imam also spoke in a similar fashion and heaped praises on NAHCON, state officials and service providers for the improved feeding arrangements.

A pilgrim, Adamu Yerima Ahmadu in his response said “ Wallahi Alhamdu Lillah, I score them 90%”.

Stakeholders also react.

On their part, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and some officials from the state pilgrim welfare agencies also confirmed their excitement with the feeding arrangements at the Holy sites.

The head of kitchen for NAHCON at the Holy sites, Bilkis Awah in a chat HAJJ REPORTERS expressed pleasure with the arrangements by the service providers, Ithraa Alkhair group.

“We can score them 90% this year. Alhamdu Lillah for improved services and we expect to see more from them,” she said.

She also said that her team has been going round inspecting kitchens at Mina and are satisfied with what they keep saying. She, however, said they have received a pocket of complaints which has been tackled immediately.

On his part, the Executive Secretary of Adamawa State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mallam Salihu Abubakar in a chat with HAJJ REPORTERS said “The feeding this year is simply excellent. Everything was waiting for us before we arrived here (Mina) and it was the same case in Arafat’. As I am talking to you, there are leftovers of food being given out by our pilgrims because they are supplied in excess. Honestly, the arrangement is most commendable.”

Also, the Executive Secretary of Gombe State Pilgrims Board, Alhaji Sa’ad Hassan said the whole arrangements were “Simply Fantastic. Meals were served as when due both in quality and quantity”. 

In the same vein, the Executive Secretary of Ogun State Pilgrims Board, Dauda Salawu, commended the service provider, Ithraa Alkhair for making sure meals are delivered on time.

He said contrary to the experience of last year, breakfast is served very early in the morning while lunch comes by mid-day. The dinner are supplied before Maghreb prayer which is quite timely and commendable

“At Arafat, they gave us a pack of snacks, tea and juice and lunch was also supplied on time while they gave us additional snacks and fruits to go to Muzdalifa with,” he said.

The ES, however, said the service providers should consider changing the menu next year because according to him “it is just rice and rice that they give. We need other options because the pilgrims get tired of eating only one type of meal throughout”.

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