The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has commended the Saudi Arabia authorities for announcing compensations for victims of last Friday’s crane crash in the precinct of Ka’aba in Makkah leading to 111 deaths and 331 injuries.
Spokesman of the commission Alhaji Uba Mana said the Saudi authority gesture was a welcome development.
Nigeria lost six pilgrims in the accident with four women from Gombe and one male apiece from Katsina and Kaduna states, while Saudis, Iranians, Malaysians, Indonesians, Britain and Indians were also among the dead.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Tuesday night announced huge compensations for the dead and injured of the accident.
According to orders issued by Salam who is the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the relatives of those who died and those who suffered permanent disability in the accident will get one million Saudi Arabia Riyal (SR) (approximately $270, 000) each which is 53 million in naira, while those who suffered injuries in the crash will get SR500, 000 (approximately $35, 000), N7 million each.
“We are happy for the compensation though we lost our citizens and no money or compensation can bring them back. It shows the Saudi Authority is following the tenets of Islam on such matter. As it is their responsibility as hosts to ensure the welfare of their guests,” NAHCON spokesman, Mana said.
He added that the announcement that those not satisfied with the compensation can go to court for more redress also shows that the Saudi government share the pains of the families and countries of those affected by the incident.
The King also ordered that two relatives of the dead foreign pilgrims will be the King’s guests for the Hajj of 2016, while those pilgrims who are unable to perform this year’s Hajj due to their injury will be brought to perform the 2016 Hajj as the King’s guests.
“As for those pilgrims who are supposed to remain at hospitals for some more time, their relatives will be granted special visit visas to take care of them at hospitals during the remaining period of the Hajj season until they return home,” the King’s order stated.