"Mr Abdulai Nashiru, Executive Secretary of the National Hajj Committee (NHC) says the 2014 Hajj pilgrimage fares are likely to go up after the August 8 deadline."
Mr Abdulai Nashiru, Executive Secretary of the National Hajj Committee (NHC) says the 2014 Hajj pilgrimage fares are likely to go up after the August 8 deadline.
The fare of $3,450 dollars which was pegged at the then exchange rate of GH? 2.87 to a dollar is currently putting the committee into debt after the depreciation of the cedi to the current rate of GH? 3.50 to the dollar. Sources closed to the Hajj Committee said the NHC is losing more than GH? 2,000 on each pilgrim per the current exchange rate.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Nashiru confirmed that the fare would likely rise to possibly GH? 12,000 if the committee did not meet its quota of 5,500 pilgrims for the pilgrimage.
He said though the committee had made advance payment to its service providers for 5,524 prospective pilgrims in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the maximum quota given to Ghana by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj was 5,500, adding: “The advance payments were made by the committee bankers and was based on current exchange rates.
Mr Nashiru said the NHC would be strict on its first come first served basis and that no change of flight would be accepted. “Pilgrims who travel with the first flight from Accra, Ghana to Maddinah, Saudi Arabia are those who would return with the same first flight from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Accra.
He said the National Air Service (NAS) of Saudi Arabia is Ghana’s official Airline for the Hajj which has a capacity to airlift about 470 passengers. The Executive Secretary said based on a provisional flight schedule agreed with NAS, the first flight for prospective pilgrims will leave the Kotoka International Airport, on September 16 to Maddina, and will return from Jeddah, to Ghana on October.
“Both the departure and the return will follow in sequence on daily basis.” He said the committee would launch its website: www.ghanahajj.com to give the public both locally and internationally access to information regarding the Hajj and future Hajj issues.
Mr Nashiru said prospective pilgrims could pay their fares either directly to the committee's Unibank Cedi account number 2110116555414 or through accredited Hajj Agents, insisting that “After August 8, which is a week after Eid-ul-Fitr, prospective pilgrims would pay about ?12, 000 cedis”.
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