Christians In Nigeria Blast Buhari For Approving Dollar Subsidy For Muslims, Hajj Pilgrims

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muslims hajj pilgrims nigeria

August 6, 2016 – Christians In Nigeria Blast Buhari For Approving Dollar Subsidy For Muslims, Hajj Pilgrims

Nigerians have condemned the Federal Government for selling forex exchange to Hajj pilgrims at a subsidised rate of N197 to the dollar.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had released a circular stating that forex would be made available to the pilgrims at the rate.

However, several criticisms have trailed the announcement.

Nigerians said it was not reasonable for the Federal Government to subsidise the dollar for pilgrims when manufacturers, students and businesses were getting it at an official rate of N310 and for as high as N400 at the black market.

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, on Friday defended the Federal Government’s action on his social media pages.

He said the N197 exchange rate was approved by the President around May and that Christian pilgrims also benefited from a similar gesture in December 2015.

He said, “The exchange rate of N197 to a dollar was approved by the President about three months ago, much earlier than when the new forex regime came into being.

“The Chairman of the Hajj Commission has confirmed that it is non-discriminatory. It was approved for Christian and Muslim pilgrimages for this year. The CBN has offered an explanation.”

But Garba’s explanation generated more criticisms.

The presidential candidate of KOWA Party in the 2015 general elections, Prof. Oluremi Sonaiya, said, “Why should we be subsidising forex for people who want to go for pilgrimage? I raised this issue when Christian pilgrims got concession last year and I asked Christian leaders to reject it. I said then that those interested in pilgrimage should be made to raise money to sponsor themselves. Why should we expect the country to be subsidising dollar for a few people? It is disheartening.”

A Facebook user, Eddy Ose pondered, “Why approve forex subsidy for Christian and Muslim pilgrims but not for students and importers? What’s happening? Is religion not a private affairs?”

Larry Oba said if the President could openly tell parents of those studying abroad to look for dollars to pay school fees, “What’s so peculiar about Christians and Muslims going on pilgrimage? Is the pilgrimage so important to the economy? Why has the President been this disappointing? I supported this government, hoping to see common sense, but what did I get? Cluelessness, arrogance and awful incompetence.”

Isaac Anthony described the development as a “national fraud,” asking, “Why can’t importers get the same forex exchange rate from the CBN?”

Another angry Facebook user, Desmond Ositadinma, replied the President’s assistant, Shehu, “Please tell President Buhari, four years is not eternity, The poor masses will vote again. Jerusalem or Mecca will not come for his rescue. We must live to see as events unfolds.”

Meanwhile, several financial analysts have also faulted the President’s directive.

Analysts who spoke to Saturday PUNCH said it was wrong to have a special exchange rate for pilgrims regardless of the faith they profess.

Head, Banking and Finance Department, Nasarawa State University, Uche Uwaleke, an Associate Professor, said the directive portends negative consequences for the forex market, which has been battling with the issue of liquidity.

He said, “How does forex demand for the purpose of observing a religious obligation not mandated for those who lack the means qualify as a transaction that is critical to the survival of the country’s economy?

“This preferential gesture by the CBN would not have been much of an issue if there was a significant improvement in the supply of the greenback.

“On the contrary, the acute shortage of forex both at the interbank and parallel markets is weighing adversely on the value of the naira.”

He said given the attractive rate differentials between the two markets, the CBN’s directive is prone to all manner of abuses, including round-tripping.

A former Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc and now boss of Safmur Investments Limited, Mr. Muhammed Rislanudeen, told Saturday PUNCH that the directive would send a wrong message to many investors who have been experiencing difficulties getting foreign exchange for productive purposes.

He said, “Foreign exchange needed for critical imports to support growth in the economy and in part help lift the economy out of recession is scarce to the extent that black market rate went as high as N400 to a dollar.

“I don’t know how and where the CBN as well as the banks will secure the forex at a subsidised rate of N197 to a dollar given the new flexible forex regime that has pushed official exchange rate to N310 to a dollar as per CBN website.”

National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, pointed out that the 2014 National Conference whose resolution had yet to be implemented by the government had labelled pilgrimage as a private trip which should not be funded with taxpayers’ money.

“To put it in the mildest form, we appear to be totally ignorant of where we are and what should be our priority,” he said.

[Saturday Punch]

25 thoughts on “Christians In Nigeria Blast Buhari For Approving Dollar Subsidy For Muslims, Hajj Pilgrims

  1. What do you Nigerians expect from mallam? Serves Nigerians well because they’re now reaping fruit of what they sow the day they made him president.

  2. It honestly kept me wondering why Buhari administration is not getting things right. At least as a president you have to know what actually should be given utmost priority in a country you are leading. Forex is being subsidized both for christian and muslim pilgrims but Christians on there part rejected it because they felt forex should be subsidized to benefit our education sector and businesses things that could lift our poor economy out of financial recession. I think muslim pilgrims should do the same. Let’s join together in sending clear message of displeasure and disapproval regarding the way our economy is being run. Mr president should stop infuriating the nigerian populace and address our dying economy not the sponsoring of pilgrims that won’t add a single penny to the financial growth of our nation!

  3. hmmmm
    when exatly are u people going to be contempted…
    #nigerian’s with polluted hearth…
    pmb is not islamising nigeria,he’s trying his best to make lie easy for everybody both muslims and xtians…
    but mostly people are talking out of ignorant

  4. hmmmm
    when exatly are u people going to be contempted…
    #nigerian’s with polluted hearth…
    pmb is not islamising nigeria,he’s trying his best to make lie easy for everybody both muslims and xtians…
    but mostly people are talking out of ignorant

  5. This is exactly what I was saying yesterday. Forex subsidy for pilgrims, of what good is it to the nation? And considering what a critical time we have have found ourselves in, is such a thing going to strengthen or weaken our economy the more? Pilgrims are people who only take our money to go and spend in other people’s countries, boosting those countries’ economy while our own diminishes. So what makes it a necessity? Why should the government hold this in such significance when Nigerians are merely outwardly religious, but inside is rotten through and through? We have not been changed by all the Hajj and trips to Jerusalem we make each year, and so this is nothing but wastefulness and cluelessness on the side of the FG.

    And after all this, when the nation continues to experience weaker and weaker economy, the APC continues to heap the blame on PDP, never admitting their own incompetence and visionlessness. They will continue to blame until 2019. In the end, when we look at PMB’s achievement for the 4years, we would see nothing but BLAMES.

    They said that GEJ was the dumbest president of Nigeria of all time. Now it looks to me like another man has just toppled him in the person of PMB. And this one is not only dumb, but deaf.

  6. This is exactly what I was saying yesterday. Forex subsidy for pilgrims, of what good is it to the nation? And considering what a critical time we have have found ourselves in, is such a thing going to strengthen or weaken our economy the more? Pilgrims are people who only take our money to go and spend in other people’s countries, boosting those countries’ economy while our own diminishes. So what makes it a necessity? Why should the government hold this in such significance when Nigerians are merely outwardly religious, but inside is rotten through and through? We have not been changed by all the Hajj and trips to Jerusalem we make each year, and so this is nothing but wastefulness and cluelessness on the side of the FG.

    And after all this, when the nation continues to experience weaker and weaker economy, the APC continues to heap the blame on PDP, never admitting their own incompetence and visionlessness. They will continue to blame until 2019. In the end, when we look at PMB’s achievement for the 4years, we would see nothing but BLAMES.

    They said that GEJ was the dumbest president of Nigeria of all time. Now it looks to me like another man has just toppled him in the person of PMB. And this one is not only dumb, but deaf.

  7. This is the wickedness of the highest order, the government did not subsidize dollar for Business Community to do business,The government did not subsidize for Manufacturers in Nigeria, but the Government choose to subsidize dollar for Hajj Pilgrimage. Will Nigerians going to eat and feed on Hajj? will The Hajj people come back to Nigeria to Manufacture any goods or invest in Nigeria? I am a huge follower of PMB. But i hate what he just did, it shows to the whole world that He is more of a RELIGION PRESIDENT THAN PEOPLE PRESIDENT. AND NIGERIANS WILL RESIST THIS ACT.

  8. this man is a complete mo*** he lacks the ability to lead and has nothing to offer.. i begin to smell that he wishes to islamise Nigeria.. removing people like dibu (jamb) and putting confused people there all are his plan but i pray he will not succeed.. i think it is high time we call for revolution

  9. Yes, the subsidy granted constitutes discrimination. Those of us who travelled abroad in May without knowing that forex policy of our Country would change while we were away suffered great hardship coping with that change notwithstanding that there was no prior information from our Bankers as to the change in policy.
    This concession being made months after the intended ” reforms” has supposedly been in place makes it discriminatory. Even though it does not really change the situation for us then affected, there is still some measure of satisfaction that I have this opportunity to publicly register my displeasure as opposed to only quarreling with my Bankers. Thank you NaijaGist!!!

  10. I am not surprised a bit. Unfortunately some people in this forum will still blame Jonathan for every of Buhari’s failure, actions, inaction and omissions.

  11. Mr man u better step down or curses will follow u,how u decide to ruined the life of the poor. I saw in news earlier that CBN has band other network, only Ria,western union can only be operate in nigeria. Let me ask u are making nigeria more better Place now or ur worsening it. u are ruining to poors life. What happens to those oversees who have resonsibity back home taking care of their family,maybe they use to send money in black market way so now we have to start counting stones biting teeth to send enough.
    black market could worth A 40,000 NAIRA In 100 dollar or euro ,but now u put a barrier, e no go better for you ooooo.
    your family are eating well,u are grooving with govt money yet the only way the poor children who based abroad were surviving taking care of their family you block it.
    how u no ko block when all is well with u and ur family,and promises u made u fullfil none,
    war everyday in the country, hardship of food ,no work , most family are suffering there.
    God dey oo.
    u cant mak work available and mak the country u promise an easy place. thunder meet u.
    there is fighting everywhere eople killing themselves ,u no see that one na to frustrate poor the more.
    u are busy killing our economy.
    No other trans

  12. How will a president with WEAC result consider student who school abroad after all his own kids went to school with government benefits. Even on his WEAC we are yet to know how truth that is….sigh Nigerian will continue to suffer until someone responsible takes the sit of power. This is the reason why the Government is letting Ex gov of Delta state die in Jail we all know his bad but he would have made a better president and that is the fear of all this men in power and they all opened him up to go to jail so he will not be useful Same as Ex gov of Bayasal May his soul rest in peace. One Nigerian we will be someday when the sit of power gets to the right hand.

  13. @ Endure, first, I am not really interested in this move. I think Students should be subsidized as well. What i dont understand is why Christians are making noise when they in fact benefited from the subsidy?.

    @ Endure, the article doesnt say Christians rejected the offer. It says they benefited. Why did you read it wrong?.

    My point is, if president could subsidized for religions, why not for at least students?.

    I can understand if he doesnt subsidize for businesses (importers and exporters) etc. Because they profit. Students and pilgrims do not make profit but only spend. Also, we need to take into account that Nigeria society is not like the West. You are all deceiving yourselves to say Nigeria is a secular state. If federal govt recognizes religions, then, it is not secular. It is hypocritical to say so.

    To sum it all, why not simply subsidize or reduce exchange rate FOR ALL if it was possible to do so for religions?. Honestly Nigerian Christians need to be quiet when it comes to religion differences and STOP portraying yourselves as the victims. You did the same under GEJ like you are the “VICTIMS”. But GEJ is Christians. Please stop this sh!t. Very annoying.

    • @AMANDA looks like you personally have a huge hate towards the Christians. I can clearly see why D Hunter & Metu attacks you on here. .

      You stop that shit and you very annoying too!

      Using the name AMANDA to fight for Muslims is also annoying!

      Keep it real please!

  14. This allegation wouldn’t have been malicious if Christians had cried out earlier when they enjoyed same privilege. Why do people like to cause trouble using religion. Search ur mind if this allegation is for the masses or religious furor. Let’s quit religious rivalry and dwel more on how this country can be better. That alone is beneficial.

  15. I think is not federal and state government duties to be paying for any religion pilgrims. If you are a Christian willing to visit the Holy Land of Isreal, 100% of your traveling costs should come from your pocket. Likewise, for Muslims who want to go visit Mecca, 100% of the costs should come from your pockets. Pilgrim to Isreal is not a religious obligation likewise, Muslims are obligated by their Quran to visit Mecca only if they can avoid the costs. However, it has been a long tradition in Nigeria for state and federal govt. to sponsor both the Muslims and Christians for religious pilgrims, but it doesn’t makes sense anymore because of Nigerian budget shortfall due to revenue reduction due to oIL falls. We have to be reasonable, fair, and on point while critizing any president. For example, President Jonathan, Obasanjo, IBB, Yaradua, Abacha, Abudulsalam Abubakar and even great chief Obafemi Awolowo-Premier of the former Western (Southwest) region all did the same thing. It will be almost impossible for any elected president or military dictators to stop this unnecessary obligation or religious rituals. Calling PMB Mallam for spending far less than what president Jonathan spent on Muslims and Christians pilgrims annually is the peak of hypocrisy. You guys should be constructive in oyour criticism. Endure, you are on point to certain extent. Honestly Maryf, if you research how much billions of naira your favorite-criminal president Jonathan spent on both Muslims and Christians pilgrims on annual basis, you will cover your face in shame and ask for forgiveness. Seek information before making any comment.

  16. The Muslims should try and act like the Christians did..Forex subsidy was also offered to the christian which was rejected on the basis that there are sectors that really need it but not getting it..Muslims should also do the same

  17. We can all see what this man is up too now, you are much concerned about Muslim pilgrims and nothing concerns you about the nation economy. People are crying of hunger everyday and your wife is buying bag worth of millions. WE CAN SEE THE CHANGE NOW.

  18. @amanda are you sure you took time to read the news above? I will advice you to carefully read each sentence one after the other and get the fact. Now @Amanda when Christian pilgrim got concession last year in 2015 for their dollar to be subsidize to make their traveling more easier,what were they advice to do afterward from what you’ve read above? @amanda you easily spark up when your religion is being mention. Take it easy ok.

  19. I am gettg more disappointed in Buhari by d day. If pilgrims cannot afford to go dis year due to d exchange rate then they should wait till next year, the dollar rate as affected so many important things in d country, so why favour just d pilgrims.
    Were do we go from here Nigerians.

  20. Wait a minute, was it not this same religion that went to stone the devil sometime, somewhere last year and somehow, the devil in turn stoned thousands of them to death? that this fulani herdsman is subsidizing for again with our money?

    Maybe to go flug the devil this timearound. I‘m a kind of like what is happening. Where are all those stupid Christians that were campaigning on live national TV for this fulani herdsman then? Where are the trekers who were treking from one place to another to celebrating the victory of suffering, unemployment, terrorism, kidnappings, failed election manifestos, unfulfilled promises, greater corruption, hardship, hunger, hypocrisy, innocent killings of the Christian faith ect…

    THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER

    I take a stroll…

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