Lagos State Government on Friday won the award for the best performing State in the 2016 Hajj Operations in Nigeria, beating 35 other States to the award.
The award was one out of the six the State also won for its excellent performance throughout the duration of the 2016 Hajj exercise in Mecca and Medina.
Other awards won by the State include Best State in Coordination of pilgrims airlift, Best State in E-Track Management, Second Best State in pilgrims education and enlightenment programme, Second Best State in Taradudiyyah Exercise, Third Best State in provision of pilgrims accommodation and Third Best State in coordination of pilgrims feeding.
South West Commissioner of the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON), Mr. Fauad Adeyemi who presented the awards to the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode at the Banquet Hall, Lagos House in Ikeja, said out of the eight categories of awards instituted by the Commission, Lagos won in seven.
He thanked Governor Ambode for supporting the pilgrims and providing the necessary logistics that made the holy exercise not only worthwhile, but one that stood the State out from the crowd and made Nigeria proud.
Responding, Governor Ambode, while thanking the Commission for finding Lagos worthy of the awards, said it would spur the State on to retain the awards in subsequent exercise.
Governor Ambode, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Mrs. Idiat Adebule, also thanked the Muslim Pilgrim Welfare Board and other partners of the State Government that worked towards the success of the Hajj, reminding them that the award was a call to sustain the good works.
“What we have achieved that is being celebrated today, we must not relent. On our part as Government, we pledge our commitment to ensure the best of facilities, the best of enabling environment is provided for our pilgrims,” he said.
On his part, Commissioner for Home Affairs, Hon. Abdulateef Abdulhakeem in his welcome address, said that the awards were more feathers to the awards already won by the impressive performance of the Governor Ambode led administration in all sectors.
The Commissioner also assured that the Pilgrims Board would work assiduously to replicate the same feat not only during the 2017 Hajj exercise but also the Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Greece and Rome.