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Hajj Board Commends Government For Support   
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Sheikh I.C. Quaye, the Chairman of the National Hajj Board has commended the government for its huge financial, moral support and cooperation given to the Board for its successful operation.

He said: “President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Vice Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, with the cooperation of the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Attah accounted for the successes chalked in the organisation of the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in 2017 and this year.”

Sheikh Quaye made the commendation at a news conference at the Hajj Village in Accra on Wednesday and said the pilgrims and the Muslim Ummah at large including; the National Chief Imam were highly grateful.

He said he led a delegation that participated in the 2018 post Hajj Conference in Jeddah Saudi Arabia under the auspices of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, which evaluated the 2017 Hajj, identified strengths, weaknesses and serious gaps in policy implementation and provided recommendations for the betterment of Hajj operations.

The Chairman said at the conference, he signed agreements with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and various Saudi Service Providers.

These he said were; the establishment of Pilgrims from Africa and Non-Arab countries in Macca-Mouassassah, United Agents Office, General Car Syndicate, Flynas Airline Company, Electronic Tracking System, Adilla Establishment Service and Saudi Civil Aviation Authority.
Sheikh Quaye said the contractual agreements were key requirements in seeking royal approval to participate in the Hajj.

“It is only when prior payments are made in full within the specified time that visas are granted. The Hajj season was opened in April 2018, while payments were to end before the end of June 30, 2018.”

He said advertisements in six local languages Ga, Hausa, Akan, Ewe, Dagbani and Nzema were produced and played nationwide on radio, television stations, online platforms and radio created by the Board.

He said this year, the Saudi authorities have introduced new policies which made it mandatory for all pilgrims to have their finger prints taken by accredited national companies in each Hajj participating country as a pre-requisite for visa acquisition.

“Ghanaian pilgrims have gone through this process and the cost is born by the Kingdom,” Sheik Quaye said, adding that the rationale for the new policy was to prevent multiple Hajj within five years while repeated pilgrims now pay a penalty of GHC 3,000.

He said for the 2018 Hajj Flynas had been the official carrier and that Tamale had 10 flights with 2,640 pilgrims, while Accra had 12 with 3,096 pilgrims and the last flight left Accra on Wednesday.

This year 13 hotels had been rented with the capacities of 400 to 900 rooms for the pilgrims in the same locality and they would be fed twice daily throughout their stay as mandated by the Saudi authorities, the Chairman said.
Source: GNA

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