By Bashir Bello
The Consulate-General of Saudi Arabia in Nigeria (Kano), Yusuf Alghamdy on Wednesday said that the country targets to reach 30 million pilgrims to attend hajj exercise by year 2030.Muslim Pilgrims from Gombe State, Nigeria during their departure to Saudi Arabia for the 2018 Pilgrimage. Photo:Ibrahim Kado/NAN
This is against this year’s, 3 million pilgrims expected to perform the 2019 Hajj exercise from across the world.
Alghamdy disclosed this during the inaugural flight ceremony at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua International Airport, Katsina to airlift the first batch of 520 intending pilgrims from Katsina and Nigeria to the Holy land in Saudi Arabia recently.
He equally begged Nigerian intending pilgrims to desist from smuggling narcotics saying it is a very serious crime in Saudi Arabia which will be taken seriously against defaulters.
According to him: “As we all know, Nigeria is one of the largest countries in terms of number of pilgrims (95,000).
“And under the new vision, Nigeria and all other countries are to increase the number of pilgrims to reach 30 million pilgrims in Mecca by 2030 Insha Allah.
“And also I would like to say that the vision which aims to provide pilgrims with high quality services, is carried out with participation of 82 governments and will provide electronic services for pilgrims, most especially smart phones, along with the other services designed for people with special needs.
“Developing Hajj Operation and services in the Kingdom is among the top priority of the Saudi Government and by extension, the country servicing Muslims and Islam,” he said.
Alghamdy continued: “Please follow the rules and regulations that will be provided to you by Saudi Arabia authority. Please smuggling of narcotics and drugs into Saudi Arabia is a serious crime that will be taken seriously.
“Please check your bags and check all your belongings and make sure you have nothing illegal that will hold you back and make your hajj not as easy as we want it to be.
“And do not take any item that does not belong to you because you are responsible for your own bag and any item found inside your bag.”