Ghanaians will now pay a whopping sum of GHS 15,000 Ghana cedis to be able to embark on a journey to the holy land for the annual religious pilgrimage.
A Number of Ghanaian Muslims has called on the government to cut down the outrageous hajj fare when the news first broke out that the new fare had been pegged at GHS 19,500.
Whiles government has taken key interest in the affairs of Muslim pilgrims, it has also taken into consideration to heed to the cry of mostly Ghanaian Muslims maintaining the old cost.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, the chairman of Pilgrims Affairs of Ghana [PAOG] Hon. Sheikh I.C. Quaye disclosed that after taken into consideration and wider consultations government has decided to revert to the old cost.
This he maintained is the lowest cost in the sub region as far as hajj 2018 is concern.
Sheikh Quaye explained that due to a number of immigration policy introduced by the authorities in Saudi Arabia, Ghana has no option than to comply with the new immigration policy.
“The Saudi Kingdom has also introduced a new immigration policy. It is now mandatory for pilgrims to undergo finger print data collection in Ghana before arrival at any port in Saudi Arabia”, he said.
He said the Saudi government in its review of economic policy made significant changes in number of travel arrangements including goods and services.
Adding that key amongst these new policies according to the minister of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia was the introduction of 5% VAT on all goods and services”
Chairman Quaye further revealed that the astronomical increase in water, electricity, transportation and accommodation, government would bear the extra cost of the fare.
This year according to the Chairman of Pilgrims Affairs, 5500 will be airlifted for the annual Muslims rituals and urged would –be pilgrims to make their payment on time to avoid disappointment.
He expressed the confidence that this year’s hajj would be the best among the best and called on the Muslims to offer prayer to the members of the board and the President and his Deputy to able to deliver on their mandate.
Story: Iddrissu A. Jara