“The cordial working relationship between the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Ghana and the Pilgrims Affairs Office of Ghana has been very productive,” a statement issued on behalf of the Chairman of PAOG, Alhaji Abdul-Rauf Ibrahim Tanko, by Mohammed Amin Lamptey, Communications Director of the office, copied The Ghanaian Times said.
The statement thanked Mr. Alsowilem for establishing a desk at the PAOG to facilitate the registration process and issuance of visas to prospective pilgrims in Ghana.
It appealed to the Saudi Arabia Embassy to extend similar gesture to the PAOG to ensure a successful 2016 Hajj.
Mr. Tanko said he was committed to improving the conduct of the spiritual exercise, adding that “my vision is to leave a legacy of a structured Hajj Administration with an ultra modern Hajj Village facility”.
“Undoubtedly, Hajj Pilgrimage has taken a new dimension and in recent times carved a niche for itself, all because of the support we had from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, stakeholders, service providers and the media,” he said.
Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, which enjoins financially sound and well-to-do Muslims to visit the Kaba, the Holy House of Allah (God) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia once in their life time.
The PAOG has ensured changes in the process of registration, payment of Hajj fares and visa acquisition.
The PAOG for the first time is facilitating the airlifting of 1,500 Muslims from the Tamale International Airport to Saudi Arabia from August 19 to August 23.
The development had eased pressure on the Kotoka International Airport, and brought relief to Muslims in the Upper East, Upper West and the Northern regions, as they would not have to travel to Accra to be airlifted.
By Malik Sullemana