New Hajj policy introduced for Pilgrims

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The Sheikh I. C. Quaye led Hajj Board has hinted of the introduction of a new Hajj policy to discourage pilgrims from performing multiple Hajj.

According to the Hajj Board Chairman, the newly instituted policy by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will allow new or would-be pilgrims get the opportunity to also perform the religious duty in their lives. He said by the policy, whoever wants to perform hajj more than ones to pay extra SAR500.

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

In 2017, the Board took care of the extra charges of those who had performed Hajj due to the late communication of the policy.

According to Sheikh I.C. Quaye, during the last pilgrimage to Mecca, his outfit airlifted about 452 ‘leftover would-be Pilgrims in 2016’.

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 stated that his predecessor, Alhaji Tanko’s handing-over note confirmed that the aforementioned ‘would-be pilgrims’ had paid.

He however stated that Alhaji Tanko failed to account for the total amount collected from these leftover would-be pilgrims; so his (Sheikh) outfit is still waiting for a while after which he would be chased the account for the money properly.

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 attracted SAR10.

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 among other things that passports of pilgrims got to agents much earlier before the first flight took off.

On behalf of the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Ibrahim Adjei, at the, commended the previous Hajj Board led by Alhaji Tanko and the NDC government for not allowing politics to mingle with Hajj.

He prayed the current Board emulate that attitude; especially looking at the successes this Hajj Board chalked in the last pilgrimage to Mecca.

Source: Delali A. Awuyeh


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