Extra charges for Hajj pilgrims – Hajj Board

The Sheikh I. C. Quaye-led Hajj Board has hinted that a new Hajj policy has been introduced to discourage any pilgrim from multiple performing Hajj in the country.

According to the Hajj Board Chairman, Sheikh I.C. Quaye,the new policy was instituted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in order to allow more chance to the new or would-be pilgrims to get the opportunity to also perform the religions duty in their lives; but he was quick to indicate that the policy states that whoever wants to perform hajj more than once pays extra SAR500.

The policy, communicated to Hajj Board ahead of the last pilgrimage, is expected to rather take effect in the 2018 Pilgrimage to Mecca, said the Board Chairman.

It was noted the Board bore the extra charges of those who had performed Hajj and came to pay same fare as the fresh pilgrims in 2017 due to the late communication of the policy, which made it difficult for the board to pass it on to the affected pilgrims.

The Hajj Board Chairman, Sheikh I.C. Quaye has alleged that during the last pilgrimage to Mecca, his outfit airlifted about 452 ‘leftover would-be Pilgrims in 2016’.

He claimed this was made possible by President AddoAkufo-Addo.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra where the new Alhazai (Alhajis and Hajias) converged to take delivery of their luggage at the Hajj Village, Sheikh I. C. Quaye further alleged his predecessor, AlhajiTanko’s handing-over note confirmed that the aforementioned ‘would-be pilgrims’ had paid.

In his statement, Sheikh again alleged AlhajiTanko failed to account for the total amount collected from these leftover would-be pilgrims; so his (Sheikh) outfit is still waiting a while to follow it up with a decision to force him to refund or do otherwise.

The Hajj Board Chairman also explained that before airlifting of these leftover pilgrims, the Nana Addo-led NPP government had to pay to enable them to fulfill their religious duties.

The Chairman also posited that an allowable weight per pilgrim was increased from 46kg to 50kg free of any charges; but any additional kilogram would attract SAR10.

This he said was better compared to the SAR30 charges per extra kilogram by the previously Board.

By this, Sheikh indicated that the above move was to ease the financial burden of pilgrims in sync with the national aspiration.

The Board built a new clinic at the Hajj Village and set up six temporary clinics in Saudi Arabia to take care of pilgrims there, he said.

The Hajj Board informed the media of providing free set of traveling bags for the pilgrims, and fed them in Madinah upon arrival and at Jeddah Airport before departure. Adding, the chairman posited amongst other things that passports of pilgrims get to agents much earlier before the first flight took off.

On behalf of the Vice President, Dr. MahamouduBawumia, Ibrahim Adjei,  commended the previous Hajj Board led by AlhajiTanko and the NDC government, for not allowing politics to mingle with Hajj.

Vice President Dr. Bawumia prayed the current Board to emulate that attitude; especially looking at the successes this Hajj Board chalked in the last pilgrimage to Mecca; and charged that it is maintained and improve on it year-in-year-out, because Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam and must be handled well.

Three different Muslim groups presented to Sheikh I. C. Quayethree plaques as new and oldest Hajj Board Chairman who performed creditably.

 

 

Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Delali A. Awuyeh

The Republic News Online

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