By Bankoe Wright
The Senate has asked the Federal government to as a matter of urgency, make dollar available to intending pilgrims at N200. The senate made the call after it received the report on “Extortion of Pilgrims By National Hajj Commission” by its committee on foreign affairs presented by Monsurat Sunmonu yesterday. The report in part reads
“The Government should as matter of urgency extend concession on the Naira – Dollar exchange to NAHCON and NCPC, once in every year, for the pilgrimages to the two Holy Lands. Therefore, the committee strongly recommends the concession of N200 to $1 for 2017 Hajj to bring down cost to the bearable level”.
Arguing in support of the report, one of the senators, Adamu Aliero, said the Central Bank of Nigeria has over time being making dollar available to some unnamed businesses at N200 per dollar and he sees no reason why they cannot make the dollar available to intending pilgrims at the same rate.
Speaking on the report, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said pilgrims also deserve the N200 per dollar rate that some businesses are supposedly given.
“You said CBN has been giving some businesses dollar at N200? If some businesses are getting that concession, pilgrims also deserve it,”Saraki said
The dollar currently exchanges for N365 in the black market and about 315 naira in the interbank.