The publications which would be updated every Monday in selected newspapers is a novelty intended to prime prospective pilgrims with knowledge about their statuses.
There have been instances where prospective pilgrims are unable to tell whether such payments have been reflected in the books of the board at the Hajj Village or not ignorance which eventually leads to disappointments at the eleventh hour.
The novelty was announced during the chairman’s briefing at the Hajj Village last Saturday about the outcome of a four-man delegation he led to Saudi Arabia last week.
“Most prospective pilgrims who pay for their packages have no way of determining whether or not these transactions have been entered into the books of the managers of the Hajj, occurrence which does not make for proper planning. This constitutes one of the factors for the perennial challenges of the Hajj,” one of the board members observed after the engagement.
The Head of the IT Department of the Hajj operations, Dr Sani Abdulai, has also announced that he is piloting an SMS alert system which would signal prospective pilgrims when their payments hit the accounts of the Hajj Board.
Sheikh I.C. Quaye, Chairman of the Hajj Board, said the trip to Saudi Arabia was an emergency trip to address issues pertaining to the airlifting of pilgrims for the annual pilgrimage. “It was a successful trip and we were able to tie the loose ends of the arrangement we commenced earlier,” he added.
Ghana, he said, beat the rest of the countries which participate in the annual Hajj by being the first to meet her financial obligations in the Hajj. Ghana was the first to complete the payment of her financial obligation to the Saudi authorities, a feat he attributed to the seriousness of members of the board and the support the government has rendered since its inauguration. He mentioned that by this feat, Ghana has picked her ticket for participation in Hajj 2017.
The chairman also explained that the housing arrangement is as a result of meticulousness on the part of the team which went for the search and negotiation activity in Saudi Arabia.
Sheikh I.C. Quaye urged prospective pilgrims to pay for the package before the June 30 deadline so the documentation and flight placement can be completed without delay.
The heightened application of newfound software by the IT head seeks to obviate the usual challenges of prospective pilgrims not knowing when their flights are due.
It would be recalled that in his maiden meeting with the board recently, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia charged the chairman and his team to work hard and to apply IT innovations that would relegate to the dustbin of history the inappropriate picture of stranded prospective pilgrims at the Hajj Village.
By A.R. Gomda