The Nigerian Senate has requested the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to subsidize dollar at N200 for those going for pilgrimage either Isreal or Saudi Arabia.
Currently the naira exchange to dollar at the rate of N315 at the official rate, which means dollar will be subsidized at 37 per cent for pilgrims. Dollar sells for N356 at the black market.
The request ignores the provisions in the approved Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, covering all expenditure plans for 2017, and the Appropriation Act, which was earlier approved by the lawmakers, prior to the assent by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
Following the adoption of the report by the committee on foreign affairs on “Extortion of Pilgrims” by the National Hajj Commission, a former governor of Kebbi State, Adamu Aliero, APC-Kebbi, had requested, as matter of urgency, concession of N200 to the dollar once every year, for those going on pilgrimages.
“The committee strongly recommends the concession of N200 to $1 for 2017 Hajj, to bring down cost to the bearable level,” Mr. Aliero said, after claiming the CBN had been offering FOREX at that rate to some unnamed businesses.