Member of Parliament for Asuogyaman, Thomas Ampem Nyarko, has expressed concerns over the escalating Hajj Pilgrim fares, attributing it in part to economic mismanagement under the administration of President Akufo-Addo and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

Hajj pilgrim fare has been increased by 530% from Ghc11,900($3, 500) in 2016 to Ghc75,000 ($6,250) in 2024

Thomas Ampem Nyarko pointed to the depreciation of the Ghanaian cedi, nearing 15 cedis to a dollar, as a significant factor driving up the expenses associated with the pilgrimage.

He lamented that this surge in costs has rendered the journey unaffordable for many Muslims, leaving only the affluent few able to fulfill this religious obligation.

Speaking at Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations in the Asuogyaman constituency, Thomas Ampem Nyarko assured Muslims that former President John Dramani Mahama under whose leadership Hajj Pilgrim underwent massive transformation such as direct flights from Tamale, the establishment of Hajj Village, aimed to make the pilgrimage more comfortable, accessible and affordable, will continue to implement reforms to enable many Muslims embark on the journey assumes office in 2025.

Meanwhile, despite maintaining this year’s Hajj fare at GH¢75,000, equivalent to $6,250, the National Hajj Board has emphasized its commitment to facilitating the pilgrimage for prospective pilgrims.

The fare covers visa acquisition, return flights, transportation, accommodation, feeding, luggage allowances, identity cards, medical care, security, and guidance throughout the rites.

Alhaji Ben Abdallah Banda, Chairman of the board, disclosed that 4,000 Muslims had been earmarked to undertake the annual Islamic pilgrimage this year, with the first batch expected to be airlifted to Mecca on May 29.

Source: Ghana/ Ansah