The Pilgrimage Affairs Office of Ghana (PAOG), in collaboration with Hajj Agents Association, has pegged this year’s Hajj pilgrimage fare at GH¢19,500, an equivalent of $3,500 dollars.
The fare represent a 23 per cent (GH¢ 4,500) increment from last year’s fare which was GH¢15,000.
PAOG has, however, indicated that the new fare could have been higher but for the intervention by the government to make it affordable for more people to perform the Hajj.
The announcement was made by the chairman of the PAOG, Sheikh I.C. Quaye, at a press conference at the Hajj Village in Accra.
The chairman consequently urged would-be pilgrims to hasten to pay their fares to their respective hajj agents to meet the April 30, 2019 deadline as there would be no extension of the timeline.
“We would like to appeal to all those who intend to embark on this year’s pilgrimage to start paying their hajj fares to avoid last minute rush for there shall not be an extension of the April 30 deadline,” he added.
According to him, the PAOG had been allotted 6,000 slots for this year’s pilgrimage, saying “2019 hajj shall be among the best of the best from the PAOG.”
The chairman, however, cautioned would-be pilgrims against dealing with what he called, “roadside agents” who, according to him, were in the habit of promising pilgrims some protocol slots.
According to him, it was only the government that can guarantee anyone a protocol slot.
Sheikh Quaye further stated that pilgrims performing the Hajj more than once should pay a penalty of GH₵2,000 payable before a visa acquisition, as directed by the Saudi Government to prevent multiple performance of Hajj.
For his part, the chairman of Hajj Agents Association, Alhaji Issah Umar, also urged pilgrims to pay their fares early to enable their agents to effectively facilitate their travel within the stipulated two months-two weeks period as agreed upon by both the Hajj Board and the Agents Association.
He also advised them to take a cue from what happened last year by paying their fares on time to avoid disappointment.