The National Hajj Commission said on Wednesday that intending pilgrims from Nigeria had not been banned from participating in this year’s Hajj by the Saudi government over the Ebola disease as being speculated in some quarters.
This was contained in a statement by the commission’s Head of Media, Mr Uba Mana, in Abuja.
NAHCOM said, “There is no formal communication from Saudi authorities indicating that Nigeria has been banned.
“Yesterday, the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Abuja released to the commission the required codes for the processing of visas for pilgrims.
“Consequently, arrangements for this year’s Hajj are ongoing and have not been hampered by any internal or external factors.
“The commission has also interfaced with all the relevant federal ministries on Ebola issue and the Federal Government is doing everything humanly possible to make this year’s Hajj a success.”
The statement explained that information available to the commission showed that only three countries in West Africa had been banned from participation in the Hajj.
“Information available to the commission shows that countries in the West African sub-region banned are Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
“The Saudi authorities have equally assured the affected countries that the suspension will be reviewed as soon as the World Health Organisation issues a statement that citizens in these countries are allowed to travel for Hajj,” it said.
The statement commended governments of both countries for their efforts in ensuring the safety of pilgrims.