Nigerian pilgrims barred from bringing kola nut during Haj

kolanutsRIYADH: Nigerian pilgrims have been asked not to bring kola nuts during the Haj this year.
Issuing the guidelines for Haj 2016, the Kingdom has notified Nigerian authorities to ban the carrying of kola nuts by pilgrims during the annual pilgrimage.

Confirming this, the National Haj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), in a statement issued on Tuesday said, “the commission received a circular from the Saudi authorities prohibiting the import of kola nuts into the Kingdom during this year’s Haj.”

“All those who intend to perform Haj are therefore advised to adhere strictly to the Saudi rules and regulations on prohibited items,” NAHCON said.

Moreover, the Nigerian Haj commission has also urged Muslim Pilgrim Welfare Boards (MPWB) and licensed tour operators to properly educate pilgrims to avoid penal actions on those found in violation of the instruction on smuggling kola nut. Violators will be punished in accordance with the laws of the Kingdom.

This caffeine-based edible seed, the kola nut, is usually known as “Goro” and “oji” and often used ceremonially by Nigerians to show a gesture of friendship and warmth; it is also used in the production of beverage and energy drinks.

Moreover, orientation and educative sessions are organized aimed at educating the pilgrims on all aspects of the Haj operations ranging from Haj rites, public transportation system, morals and manners during the Haj, new policies introduced for this year’s Haj by Saudi authorities, policies adopted by NAHCON, and Saudi rules and regulations to be followed during the stay in the Kingdom.

The commission made medical screening mandatory for pilgrims last year to qualify them to travel for their once-in-a-lifetime journey to the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.
Notably, about 70,000 Nigerian pilgrims perform Haj every year.



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