Former Hajj Board denies incurring $30 debt

Business News of Sunday, 6 August 2017



Former member of the Hajj Board, Alhassan Suhuyini

A former member of the Hajj Board during the erstwhile John Mahama government, Alhassan Suhuyini has dismissed claims by the current Chairman of the Board that the previous managers incurred a $30 debt in facilitating last year’s pilgrimage.

Sheik I.C Quaye had ascribed the huge debt to among others, a long protocol list that accompanied pilgrims to Mecca in 2016. He was worried that the debt could negatively affect planning for the 2017 pilgrimage.

In an interview with Joy News, I.C Quaye noted that the handing over notes given to the current Board revealed that the previous Board owed an airline $2.8m, which he and his team are yet to establish how that came about.

“We have come to face this sort of thing, and if we don’t break through to satisfy the service providers then of cause there can’t be Hajj.”

However in response, Alhassan Suhuyini who’s also the MP for Tamale North insisted that Sheik I.C Quaye’s claims are not an accurate representation of the fact.

“It is not true that the former Hajj Board left a debt of that tune. What we know of is that government decided to subsidize the Hajj operations, it decided to give Hajj Board a special exchange rate which the government made up the difference for. If government owes the Hajj Board, you don’t call that a debt left behind. It is actually money owed to Hajj Board by government. So if we had a Christian President who championed this and did this for Muslims, the challenge is for the Vice President who campaigned on the note of being a Muslim to honour that commitment that the previous government made so that they have smooth operation.”

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