The Bank of Sierra Leone is ready to provide the US Dollars that Muslims need to perform the 2016 pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

About 1,000 people are estimated to perform this year’s hajj and the amount they need would be about $6 million, Mr Morlai Bangura, Acting Director of Research Department stated in a conversation.

This includes pocket money.

“In our bid to support the effort of the Government to facilitate participation of Sierra Leoneans in this year’s pilgrimage to Mecca, the Bank of Sierra Leone would provide US Dollars for sale to potential pilgrims through the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank limited,” a release on August 2 from the Bank of Sierra Leone stated.

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Potential pilgrims are asked to contact the Sierra Leone Hajj Committee.

The Central Bank rate at the time of payment plus one percent of that amount which the commercial banks would add will be the amount to pay, Mr Bangura said.

Going on a pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. Because of ebola, Muslims in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia were banned from travelling to Saudi Arabia in 2014 and 2015. The government wants to ensure that the Dollar is available for them to travel with ease.