The Federal Government has charged the newly inaugurated Hajj Institute of Nigeria, HIN, to continue seeking innovative solutions and new ways of delivering the best services to the nation’s pilgrims through its academic programmes and research.
Secretary to the Government of Federation, SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, who gave the charge at the launching of HIN on Tuesday in Abuja, said the Federal Government is committed to supporting institutions like the HIN whose programs are in tune with the strategic objectives of the present administration.
According to him, the institute is relevant to the government’s focus under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP with a vision of sustained inclusive growth and structural economic transformation, stressing that “our emphasis is focused on improving both public and private sector efficiency, increased national productivity and maximum welfare for Nigerians.”
HIN, he said is “an academic institution established by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON to inject professionalism into the Nigerian Hajj and Umrah sector and create skilled manpower and jobs for teeming Nigerian youth.”
He said: “Today marks the launch of the first professional certificate program of the HIN, a program that is designed to enhance the capacity of Nigeria’s Hajj officials, fill the skills gap in the economy and ensure the effective management of our annual pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
“This is a critical step towards ensuring that our Hajj operations are at par with international best practices, and our pilgrims receive the highest quality of services during their journey.”
Earlier, the chairman of NAHCON, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan informed that the institute was established with the aim of keeping pace with the global trends of advancement in technology.
“In view of this, it has become necessary for us to refocus our strategies and embrace the latest advancements in ICT. The Saudi Vision 2030, which all Hajj entities across the globe need to align to, has placed a high premium on excellent pilgrims’ services driven by ICT.
“It is for this reason that the HIN will provide a platform for training and research on various aspects of Hajj and Umrah, including the use of technology to improve our operations and services.
“Management of Hajj in modern times has gone beyond the trial-by-error system we are used to. With the help of ICT, operational activities have been propelled to a more efficient level with near-zero room for mistakes which needs the right skilled manpower to run.”
He further affirmed: “The birth of HIN and its commencement of academic activities will serve as an added impetus to NAHCON’s quest for a sustainable Hajj management system in Nigeria.
“We recognize the economic potentials of Hajj and Umrah and it is time for us to leverage these opportunities and make them significant contributors to Nigeria’s economy.”
In his keynote address, the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, Prof Idris Bugaje, described the inauguration of HIN as “a very timely and well-thought-out move which will surely improve on service delivery in Hajj operations in the coming years.”
He said the HIN was approved by the federal government on March 9, 2022, to operate as an Innovation Enterprise Institution, IEI, offering National Innovation Diploma, NID in Hospitality and Tourism Studies, Computer Studies and other related courses, adding that the institute was advised to sponsor the development of NID curriculum in Hajj Operations as it relates directly to the mandate of the NAHCON.
The Executive Secretary added: “The institute may also register with some relevant awarding bodies to conduct National Skills Qualifications, NSQ in various areas of interest under the NSQF.”
FG tasks Hajj Institute on best services to pilgrims