The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), is to conduct due diligence of local airlines capability to airlift those going to Hajj.
The NCAA, said all airlines applying to take part in the operations must prove they have the equipment to carry out the exercise.
About eight Nigerian airlines are bidding to take part in the Hajj exercise.
The airlines include are Azman, Max Air, United Nigeria Airlines, Aero Contractors, ValueJet Arik, and Sky Power Express.
There are close to 95, 000 intending Nigerians that are going for the 2023 Hajj.
The airlines were reported to have submitted their bids the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), where a committee is set to present selected airlines for the exercise by March 7, 2023.
Speaking during the submission and inauguration screening of the Committee
for airline and cargo companies, the Chairman of NAHCON, Zikrullah Adekunle Hassan, stated that the inaugural flight for the pilgrimage would be on May 21.
He advised all intending pilgrims to conclude their registration with the State Welfare Board or the Hajj savings scheme on or before March 7 2023, as registration will be closed in due course to meet with the deadline by the Saudi Government.
The Director- General of the NCAA, Captain Musa Shuaibu Nuhu, said all the airlines must prove that they have verifiable aircraft before they will be considered.
Nuhu said any operator that did not meet its schedule during the exercise, without a reasonable excuse, would be penalised.
He added that some airports do not meet the basic requirement of operating big airports, which leads to a waste of hours before they embark on the journey, after raising sing concerns in the use of many airports in the country for Hajj operations.
Nuhu, had in a meeting last year with the Ministry of Aviation, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), and other stakeholders with a delegation of the Saudi Arabian General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), led by its president, Abdulaziz A. Duailej, in Abuja, lamented that many of the airports used for the operation were without sufficient facilities or capacity for international flight operations.
According to him, the NCAA had set up a committee that reviewed and identified lapses in the 2022 Hajj operations.
He stated that the findings and recommendations of the Committee would soon be made known to the relevant bodies.
In December 2022, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia restored 95,000 Hajj slots to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), ahead of this year’s Holy pilgrimage. The number was scaled down during COVID-19 but the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has approved the pre-COVID-19 allocation to the country. Meanwhile, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has attributed incredible growth at the Nigerian Meteorological Agency ( NiMet) to a strong synergy between the political class and experts which has produced focused and right leadership to steer the ship.
He encouraged NiMet to pursue Public Private Engagement (PPE) to enable the agency to get the required funding as government financing is never enough.
Sirika made these known in an address on March 2, 2023, during the 76th Session of the WMO Executive Council at the WMO headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland where NiMet and India Meteorological Service signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The Minister said: “One practice that has enabled meteorological development in Nigeria is the strong synergy and support between the political class (which I represent) and the expert (represented by Prof. Matazu).