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Nigerian commission warns against fake application channels for hajj medical team

IN SHORT: The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has started to put together a team of medics for the 2024 hajj pilgrimage, but it has reminded Nigerians to make contact through its official channels, not this mobile phone number circulating on Facebook.

Nigeria is assembling a medical team that will provide healthcare services to pilgrims during the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. 

On 12 February 2024, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria announced that it had started registering those wishing to be part of the team. Applications for the volunteer positions, which include doctors, nurses and pharmacists, were to close on 26 February.

The commission regulates all hajj activities in the country, which has a large Muslim population, especially in the north. Hajj is the pilgrimage that every adult Muslim must make at least once in their lifetime to the holy city of Mecca.

It is in the context that a post shared on Facebook in Nigeria claims to offer opportunities for those who want to join the medical team.

“BREAKING NEWS. Please if you apply for 2024 Hajj National Medical Team please DM me the following details to 08069731xxx,” reads the post.

Applicants should send their name, “application ID” and indicate which position they are interested in, the post says.

The same claim was also posted on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But is the phone number in the claim the commission’s? We checked.


Beware of scammers, says the commission

In its official notice, the commission has provided information on how to apply via its website. It has not instructed applicants to contact a mobile phone number or to contact a person to help them apply.

Nevertheless, Africa Check made a call to the number given in the Facebook post. The man on the other end claimed to be authorised to proceed with our application.

In a public notice dated 18 January 2024, the commission says it only communicates with the public through its official channels.

The commission's official mobile phone numbers are also included in the warning to the public. None of them match the one in the post.

On 17 February, the commission issued yet another disclaimer warning the public to beware of scammers.

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