Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs Minister, Dr Deniss Sandy, yesterday told Reporters at the weekly Ministry of Information briefing, that “government does not recognize any agent for this year’s hajj to the Holy Land of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
He emphasized “let nobody pay his or her money to agents; my ministry is in control and everything will be done through my Ministry”.
Dr. Sandy reiterated that there exists a National Hajj Coordinating Committee made up of renowned Sheiks, the Religious Council, Office of the President and Vice President and his Ministry, to ensure that this year’s Hajj is different from all.
The Social Welfare Minister revealed that the advanced team from the Hajj Committee is in Saudi Arabia to make arrangements for the pilgrims with regards transportation, lodging and communication and the availability of ambulance while in Mecca.
“We have also held discussions with travelling Agencies to avoid delays and minimize the interference of Agents to make sure pilgrims receive the best treatment ever before,”he stated.
He maintained that because of the turmoil in the Arab World, scholarships will be minimal, but added they are contacting organizations for help.
The Minister revealed that Government is targeting 500 pilgrims, but there would be an increase in the number based on the availability of quotas from the Airlines.
Dr Sandy further reiterated that as soon as they receive the number of scholarships, the exact hajj fee will be let out to the public.
He assured that this year’s hajj will be different due to the modalities put in place by the government for a successful stay of pilgrims in Mecca
By Abibatu Kamara