A youth group calling itself Patriotic Muslim Front (PMF) has described as “insensitive” the 100% upward review of Hajj fees set by the Hajj Board for this year’s pilgrimage to Mecca.
According to the PMF, though the cost of living is high, the 100% increment of the fees from last year is “way too bad.”
Speaking at a Press Conference in Accra to express their concerns regarding the conduct of the Hajj Board, the president of the PMF, Haruna Mohammed said, the fees should be slashed by 50%.
Last year, persons who embarked on the pilgrims paid GHc19, 500 fees but the amount has since been reviewed upward by 100%.
“Considering the sub-region and how much they are paying, the amount they are paying is relatively lower and it is wavering around GHc30. So for us, reasonably, to make it 100% is way way too bad,”
“We will recommend that in any case considering the fact that things have gone up in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we suggest that they make it at least 50%,” he urged.
According to him, following the announced fees to be paid by Muslim Pilgrims by the Hajj Board on June 6, “we in the PMF, after engaging a lot of prospective Pilgrims, are minded to question this year’s fares and the contemptuous breach of the contract that subsists between the Board and Hajj agents.”
He also alleged that “pilgrims who agreed to leave their monies with the board since 2020 conditioned on the agreement duly signed on their behalf by their agents, have also been asked to top up GHc7,000.”
This he described as “a clear breach of paragraph three (3) of the agreement signed on June 20, 2021.”
He contended that this development could “compel a lot of Pilgrims to seek court redress in the coming days.”
The PMF and the entirety of the Muslim Umma said they “demand item by item breakdown of the cost build-up that necessitated the upward adjustment.”
“It will interest you to know that many of the components that inform the cost structure including transportation remain largely unchanged. We acknowledge the fact that, Value Added Tax (VAT) went up relatively marginally in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“This development, however, cannot be a justifiable grounding for the 100% increase in Hajj cost. Brothers and sisters, it cannot be again said that, some of the key defining features of a Muslim are righteousness and the advancement of the course of Islam,” he intimated.