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Bio-metric passports for Hajj pilgrims in Tamale

2010-10-06 20:33:01
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Monday, started the issuance of bio-metric passports for would be pilgrims of this year's Hajj, as well as their registration. The exercise, which takes two days, would register people from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Region, after which pilgrims in the Ashanti region would also processed.

An official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs disclosed this to the GNA in Tamale, on Monday, on anonymity. Meanwhile, a lot of people were seen going through the registration formalities smoothly, which involves the taking of their bio-data and pictures, among others.

The official said their passports would be issued to them at a later date, to enable them to embark on the pilgrimage to Mecca, adding that, the bio-metric passport acquisition was only for the 2010 pilgrims and not for the general public.

Alhaji Yakubu Ayana, Chief Executive Officer of Ayana Hajj Travel and Tour, said his agency has about 430 members in the Northern Region, most of whom had gone through the process smoothly and awaiting their passports.

He said the journey to Mecca would be on the 25th October, by which time everybody might have acquired the passport, adding that, the pilgrims from the three Northern Regions would be airlifted to Accra and then proceed to Mecca.

Alhaji Ayana said each member of this year's Hajji is paying GH¢4,500 for the journey.

He also appealed to the government to upgrade the Tamale Airport to international status for future pilgrims to be airlifted from Tamale to Mecca direct, saying that, the three regions of the North constitutes about 50 percent of the pilgrims.


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