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Religion of Thursday, 16 May 2013

Source: The Al-Hajj

Confirmed: 2013 Hajj fare US$ 3450

The interim National Chairman of the 2013 Hajj Committee, Alhaji Abdul Rauf Tanko, has announced that in view of new policies agreed on at this year’s Hajj conference in Saudi Arabia, fares for each prospective pilgrim to Hajj has been increased to US$3450.

Announcing this year's hajj fare at a press conference in Accra yesterday, Alhaji Rauf Tanko stated that the package for the new fares includes airfare to Jeddah and back, airport taxes, accommodation in Madina and Mecca. Others are health care and insurance, and ground transportation from Medina to Mecca-Mina and Arafat, then back to Mina, Mecca and finally to Jeddah for the return journey back home.

According to him under the new arrangement, prospective pilgrims will be provided with special mattresses and feeding at Mina, plus the cost of freight of a Jerri can of Zamzam water, which he said will be provided to pilgrims immediately they return to back home.

Alhaji Tanko noted that, in line with the Hajj committee’s commitment of ensuring the utmost convenience and comfortability of pilgrims remain its hallmark of this year’s Hajj, the committee has made a fifty percent down payment in Saudi Arabia for the 6780 prospective pilgrims; a figure representing the quota given to Ghana.

He stated that, the fifty percent down payment was to secure decent accommodation, arrangements for vehicle movement within Saudi Arabia, feeding, taxes and other pressing needs that will ensure that pilgrims from Ghana will enjoy the best of service, adding “prospective pilgrims should expect the best of treatment.”

Explaining how the quota was arrived at, Alhaji Tanko stated, “ we were given that quota because the Muslim population figure available to the Saudi Arabian authority is six million, and per the arrangement, one million population attracts thousand people, therefore, going by our population that is the quota we will get”

“But we have advanced some argument that the figure they have is not correct, so we are still knocking on their doors to increase the number for us,” he added

The interim Hajj Chairman noted that, as part of an arrangement to ensure a hitch free Hajj, all prospective pilgrims will converge at the Hajj Village in Accra from September to be airlifted to Saudi Arabia in badges as per schedule.

Alhaji Tanko added that, the Committee has opened both a dollar and cedi accounts with Access Bank to facilitate easy payment, adding “payment can be made by individuals or through accredited Hajj agents and in the name of the pilgrim.”

“The dollar account number is 0091012177971, and the cedi account number is 0090222177971…payment can be made in dollars or its cedi equivalent and prospective pilgrims must endeavor to obtain receipts for registration,” he noted

Sounding a note of caution to the potential pilgrims, Alhaji Tanko indicated that late payments of fares will attract a penalty of US$50, stressing “if we exhaust the quota at the end of the deadline for payment, we will not accept any application.”

He advised prospective pilgrims to start processing their passports in order to facilitate on time visa acquisition, adding that, “prospective pilgrims are expected to undergo vaccination at health centers and acquire their vaccination cards before departure.

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