Buhari handed down the directive to the Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Alhaji Abdullahi Mukhtar, during a closed-door meeting he had with him inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mukhtar briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting.
He said the President, during the meeting, granted all the requests from the commission on preparations for the 2015 Muslim pilgrimage.
He said, “I met Mr. President and I am pleased to tell Nigerians that he has granted all the requests from the National Hajj Commission with regards to the preparations for 2015 hajj.
“The President had also directed for inter-agency collaboration between the commission and all other relevant agencies to address the challenges and menace of corrupt-related practices that have to do with hajj and umrah.
He said with his meeting with the President, preparation for the 2015 hajj had reached its climax.
Mukhtar added that the President also directed that the commission should comply with all regulations laid out by Saudi Arabian government to ensure the success of 2015 hajj.
When asked to identify the corrupt activities that the President frowned at, he cited cases of people who pay for services that were not rendered.
Mukhtar said the number of pilgrims for this year’s exercise remained 66,000 under the states and 10,000 under the private tour operations.
He added that his management was working hard towards the independence of the commission.
He said the exercise needed a time lag for the independence to be achieved.
On the budget for this this year’s exercise, Mukhtar said the Federal Government normally takes responsibility for providing medicals, security services, as well as consular services of the Nigerian pilgrims and that is exactly what the government will do this year.
He said the President had also directed that the commission should release the fare immediately and he would do that without further delay.
Source: The Punch