The Chairman of the National Hajj Board, Sheikh IC Quaye has said the pilgrimage coordinating body intends clearing a GHS23million debt left by the previous managers of the board.
“Actually it’s not a matter of paying all the debt at a stroke but it’s a matter of managing it and we’re sure we are going to manage it to enable the pilgrims to go and perform the hajj this year,” Sheikh Quaye told Class News.
A unit of the board, the Pilgrims Affairs Office of Ghana (PAOG) incurred the debt.
The Board owes Saudi airline, Nas Air, for airlifting Ghanaian pilgrims to and from the holy land.
In addition to this, there are some 452 persons who paid to embark on the pilgrimage, however, could not go and are expected to be paid back their fares.
PAOG denied it owed Nas Air.
The spokesperson of PAOG, Mohammed Amin Lamptey, said: “As far as I’m concerned, Nas Air is not owed. You cannot operate Hajj if you don’t pay Nas Air in full before operation begins, likewise payments for accommodation and transportation.
“The Saudi Embassy here in Ghana will never issue visas to would-be pilgrims when the Hajj committee does not settle all financial matters at a specific time.
“There is no regime of Hajj operations that took over without outstanding debts,” he added.
President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday swore in the new Hajj Board led by Sheikh Quaye.
The other members are: 1. Abdul Malik Adams Gariba – Member
2. Mr. Farouk Hamza – Member
3. Sheikh Amin Bonsu – Member
4. Alhaji Inusa Amadu – Member
5. Mr. Kamal-Deen Abdulai – Member
6. Ismaela Ibrahim – Member
7. Mohammadu Osmanu Alidu – Member
8. Mohammed Osumanu Yunusah – Member
9. Mr. Braimah Adams – Member
10. Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Mohammed – Member
Meanwhile, the following were also appointed to head the Medical, Communications and I. T units of the Hajj Board:
1. Dr. Seidu Zakaria – Head, Medical
2. Abdulai Rahman Alhassan Gomda – Head, Communications
3. Dr. Sani Abduai – Head, I.T.
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