Muslim pilgrims in Ghana would’ve originally paid an amount GHS45,000 to travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the 2022 Hajj; but an intervention by the Akufo-Addo government has resulted in the figure reducing to GHS39,000.

However, pilgrims who maintained their 2020 Hajj deposit of GHS19,500 will make an additional payment of GHS7,000 to make a total amount GHS26,500.

The cost increment was due to the astronomical charges from the Saudi counterparts for the organization of this year’s pilgrimage. There is an increased cost of accommodation, transportation, medical fees, feeding among other required essential services pertaining to the performance of the Islamic activity in Mecca, Jeddah and Madina.

According to Alhaji Abdul Rahaman Gomda, spokesperson of the Ghana Hajj Board, the realistic fare for the 2022 Hajj was supposed to be GHS45,000 and indeed in West Africa, Ghanaian pilgrims are paying the lowest.

Alhaji AR Gomda in a radio interview in Tamale monitored by THE CUSTODIAN emphasized the likes of Nigeria and Togo among other nations in the sub region have high fare charges compared to Ghana.

“As we speak, there is a cost for traveling insurance, cost for PCR testing, this is the standard practice and we also want to maintain the standards; they also have to cook for our people.”

Covid-19 protocols

Alhaji Gomda indicated the Ghanaian medical team would be educating and sensitizing the pilgrims on the health and safety protocols against the coronavirus pandemic.

He noted one of the critical components of Hajj is health delivery and the Ghana Hajj Board is very much concern about that, assuring that, the medical staff would be engaging the pilgrims throughout the period to ensure their safety.

Meanwhile, each traveler is required to carry out a compulsory PCR test not later than 72hours before departure and also obtain a traveling insurance before embarking on the Hajj.

The compulsory PCR test and traveling insurance as announced by the Hajj authorities in Ghana will cost GH¢220 and GH¢250 respectively.  

The Saudi authorities have also prohibited persons above age 65 from performing the Hajj as part of strict control measures in the country and prospective pilgrims are expected to present a negative PCR test taken not more than 72hours.  

Meanwhile, the first badge of Ghanaian pilgrims has been airlifted from the Tamale International Airport to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia today June 20, 2022.

About four flights according to the Ghana Hajj Board are expected to fly the Ghanaian contingents from Tamale and each flight is expected to convey about 463 passengers totaling about 1,852 pilgrims traveling to Mecca through the Tamale airport.

The quotas for all participating nations have been reduced significantly and only 3,069 pilgrims would embark on the journey from Ghana.