In a circular on Thursday, marked, TED/FEMFPC/GEN/01/005, the CBN said: “Each pilgrim is entitled to purchase a minimum of $750.00 and maximum of US$1,000.00 as PTA. The Federal Government has approved that intending pilgrims are to be sold the PTA at a concessionary exchange rate of N197.00 to the US dollar. “No commission shall be charged by the banks for the sale of the PTA to the intending pilgrims. The Central Bank of Nigeria shall sell the PTA to the designated banks in Lagos and Abuja and the accounts of the respective banks shall be debited as soon as the funds are disbursed….” Several reactions from all sectors have trailed the decision of the Federal Government.
Some Lawyers are of the view that it is subsidizing consumption for production at a time that the country can ill afford it.
Other reactions trailing this development are write ups such as this :
A disaffection with a religious and business outlook is currently trailing Federal Government unconventional decision to sell foreign exchange to Hajj Islamic pilgrims at a highly reduced rate.
This is not the first time the Central Bank is selling dollars to Pilgrims at a subsidized rate. Last August it also sold dollars at N160 at a time when the official exchange rate was about N197. Only that this time, the disparity is wider.
The implication for Nigerian tax payers is that the government is now incurring this sort of expense at a time when the economy is likely in a recession and millions are finding it hard to feed themselves. It is also at a time where the Nigerian government is running cap in hand begging foreign investors to invest in Nigeria so that we can boost our external reserves.
It also calls to question suspicions that government officials may be getting travel allowances at a different exchange rate from what is obtainable at the official interbank market.”
There are concerns that their Christian counterparts maybe in the future seek for such preferential treatment which may have a negative effect on the Nigerian economy.
Others have taken to pictures to express their dismay on the decision of the federal government. Pictures such as this has suggested that all one needs to get dollar at a ridiculously low rate is to become a pilgrim going to Hajj.
Other reactions, are from fellow Nigerians all groaning and moaning on the Federal Government’s decision:
“Floating Naira indeed
to import fuel N308 to $1
to import rice N400 to $1
to go and pray N197 to $1
don’t worry..we have an economic team.”-Kalu Aja
What is your reaction as a Nigerian or a foreigner out there? Are you angry because of its negative impact on the Nigerian economy or happy because it affects you positively.
The Federal Government is not left out in this, as it has also reacted to its decision to sell dollar @197 to Hajj Pilgrim. Read more here.
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