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CBN Directs Banks to Sell Dollars to Intending Hajj Pilgrims at N197 to $1



CBN Hajj PilgrimageThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday directed all banks and authorised forex dealers to sell dollars to pilgrims going for the 2016 Hajj at a concessionary exchange  rate of N197 to the  US dollar.

The circular published on its website, titled TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/005 read in part:

Each pilgrim is entitled to purchase a minimum of US$750.00 and maximum of US$1,000.00 as The Federal Government has approved that intending pilgrims are to be sold the Pilgrims Travelling Allowance (PTA) at a concessionary exchange rate of N197 to the  US  dollar.

No commission shall be charged by the banks for the sale of 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.

Each designated bank is required to sell to the CBN the unutilised funds not later than two (2) weeks from the date of the last inward flight to Nigeria from Jedda, while the accounts of the banks shall be credited promptly.


  1. Chynwa

    August 5, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Lie lie! ds wan cannor happen. As how? u sed the FG will not interfere with religious activities. nah nah nah. #50shadesofwrong

    • Wale

      August 5, 2016 at 11:48 am

      As long as the same policy applies to Christian pilgrims. If not, then this president’s agenda will be deemed clear.

    • Julie the Lily

      August 5, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      Christians got a subisidy of 37 Naira last year, they were made to buy dollars officially at 160 naira (official rate at the time was still 197) , the muslims got a subsidy of 113 naira this year since dollars will be sold to them at 197 naira (official rate today is 310) . Care to explain why same subsidy wasn’t applied to both travellers?
      P.S- I believe subsidizing religious pilgrimage for either christians or muslims is utter rubbish. we are saying we are are broke, religion is a personal affair, not a state one unless we have decided to be a theocratic state, last i checked, we claim to be secular. Anyway, if you decide to be stupid enough to subsidize pilgimage, why isn’t the same subsidy available to all?

    • Naijatalk

      August 5, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      @Wale, the policy should not apply to any religious pilgrimage – Christian or Muslim. If any group should be singled out for such a Policy, it should be businesses/manufacturers directly impacting apthe economy.

    • Fleur

      August 5, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      Some.responses here are of grave concern. What our government should be doing now is figuring out how small businessws that rely on forex do not go broke from the ever sinking value of the naira and lack of access to forex. Religious pilgrimmage- christian or moslem will not save the engine of the economy (small buisnesses) from collapsing. We have been stoning the wall and praying in tongues for as long as the mind can remember. Yet our ways are more vile today than ever before.

    • Wale

      August 6, 2016 at 2:46 am

      I agree with you all. Government shouldn’t be in the business of religion;most especially now.

    • Say again

      August 5, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      Funny. All the Sai Baba people are suddenly forced to eat their vomit.
      Kadara, ha fa Na?
      Ada Nnewi, ndewo o!!
      Mrs Chidukane, kedu?
      A real Nigerian, found God yet?
      EllesarisEllendil, which way?
      edDREAMZ, back from Jupiter?
      Nahum, where you enter?
      Bleed blue, sai baba!! You scarce o?
      O~Intuition, still on the matter?
      CONGLOMERATE, I guess you’ve been reduced to rubble
      NagosBigBoi, I sure say you don go back ya village.

      When we told you that this man is not an inclusive person, he is high handed and has no regard for federal character. We told you his agenda is to put his people in positions of authority and disregard the ‘infidels’ because that’s how he sees southerners and Christians, una no hear. Changii!!! Changiiii. That was your foolish mantra. It’s not about GEJ, this was never about any party. It was all POLITICS and y’all know nothing. Anyway, I don’t blame the Yorubas who voted him in cos they have vested interest RE: Osinbajo but for the Igbos especially, who the average northern Muslim considers less important than a rabid dog, I say SHAME to you!!

      You all claim you went to school but you never learned anything. History never meant anything to you. Silly jokers. Good for you. Thank God I live in Canada.

    • Shame!

      August 6, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      I’m surprised that you remember so well. This comment is making me laff. I read but hardly comment. I remember when people esp Mrs Chidukane and Ada Nnewi were boasting upandan. Where are they now? Na wah.

    • Fade

      August 7, 2016 at 1:15 am

      @Say Again

      My goodness you’re petty! See how you listed all these names like you’ve been writing them down waiting for the day you can gloat.
      I’m not a fan of Bubu but I wish the country well, whoever is in power. You seem filled with hate. Stay in your Canada abeg.

  2. me

    August 5, 2016 at 11:18 am

    We don turn Muslim country be that na, na from clap dance dey start. Let me go and look for my own hijab to wear and start getting used to it before he signs us away to international Islamic organisation and makes it compulsory. All ye change agents, see were you guys got us? Na from frying pan to fire

    • Arise O CHRISTpatriots!

      August 5, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      @me., Buhari has already stated in 2016 that Nigeria has joined ISMAT, the Saudi Arabia-led coalition of MUSLIM countries against terrorism. It is openly and by design and name not a coalition for just any country but only MUSLIM countries. And have you forgotten that IBB took Nigeria fully into the Organisation of Islamic Countries?

      Excerpt from Prof. Omoruyi’s letter:

      “”Also, Although Babangida took the rap for Nigeria’s sneaky upgrade to full membership of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), according to a study on Nigeria funded by the US Defense Department in the early 1990s, it was actually Buhari who without any regard whatsoever for the sensibilities of Nigerians of other faiths, submitted the application to upgrade Nigeria’s membership from the observer status it had enjoyed since the Gowon regime to full membership. The OIC’s review of the application was concluded after Babangida’s palace coup. Rather than reverse Buhari’s action, Babangida quietly allowed Nigeria’s new status as a full-fledged member of the OIC to stand.””


      AN APPEAL TO PRESIDENT OLUSEGUN OBASANJO: Nigeria: Neither an Islamic nor a Christian Country

      The denial of the status of Nigeria in D8 by the Federal Government forced me to write this essay. I am arguing that the recent attendance of President Matthew Obasanjo, a Christian as President of Nigeria at the D8 Summit of Islamic countries at Cairo was not an isolated incidence. It is the culmination of the creeping Islamization of Nigeria, which started in 1975 under General Murtala Muhammad.

      The military leaders of Nigeria who got Nigeria into these various Islamic organizations had one thing in mind as to the qualification of Nigerian leadership. They had in mind that Muslims would permanently rule Nigeria as elected Presidents or military Heads of State. Is the emergence of ‘a Matthew’ in President Obasanjo an aberration?

      There is no doubt in the minds of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) when he converted the Nigerian involvement from that of an Observer to that of a Full Member of the OIC in 1986. It was meant to stop the gimmick of that nebulous concept, ‘observer status’ and reenact the plan of General Murtala Muhammed to make Nigeria an Islamic Republic in the fashion of Libya. It was his untimely death that interrupted the plan. Murtala’s death did not kill the plan, as his followers in the military and in civilian wings of the geo-ethno-military-clique, that is the northern leadership were aware of the plan and pushed it to the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC).

      Those who sought membership for Nigeria in the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and later in the D8 knew that the Presidents of Nigeria, by election or by coup or by appointment would or should always be Muslims. Is this not an issue, which Nigerians should discuss?

      SHARIA EPISODE IN 1977/78

      It is part of the history of Shariazation of Nigeria that it was the Murtala’s plan for the Islamization of Nigeria, which formed the basis of the Sharia provision in the Draft Constitution. But the determination of the members of Constituent Assembly from the Middle-belt working with the members from the Southern minorities of then Bendel, Rivers and Cross River States that successfully put a check on the planned Islamization of Nigeria after the death of General Murtala.


      Nigerians of today are faced with the Sharia crisis. But they should note that for whatever reasons, Southern Lawyers failed to warn their people of the implications. Do the southerners know that it was the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) headed by the eminent Lawyer, Chief Rotimi Williams that first translated Murtala’s plan into what appeared in the Draft Constitution?

      It is a matter of record that the South had eminent lawyers in the leadership of the CDC. From the record of the CDC, how many Nigerians realize that in addition to Chief Rotimi Williams, there were Professor Ben Nwabueze, Chief Richard Akinjide and Chief Bola Ige in the CDC who are concerned about the Sharia today? What did they have in mind when they yielded to the pressure and introduced the Sharia at the Federal level into the Draft Constitution in 1977?


      It should be noted that it was only one CDC member, Paul Unongo from Benue who opposed the Sharia in the CDC. But he could not stop the inclusion of the Sharia provision in the Draft Constitution. Having failed at the CDC, he sought election to the Constituent Assembly from Benue along with others from the Middle-Belt on the anti-Sharia platform.


      How the Middle-Belt caucus under the leadership of Chief Solomon D Lar worked out a deal with the Southern minorities in the Constituent Assembly is something, which the new politicians of today should emulate. The Middle-Belt members and the members from the southern minorities in the Constituent Assembly were able to build a consensus on the Sharia, the Revenue Allocation and the Presidential System. This is a subject of my forthcoming book, Beyond the Tripod in Nigerian Politics. Those who are talking of accord between the Middle-Belt and the South-South would have some lessons from the past efforts in my forthcoming book


      The crisis over Sharia in the Constituent Assembly was resolved in the Constituent Assembly. But because the Constituent Assembly was not sovereign, that that it did not have a final say on the decision on Sharia. Its decision was subject to the overriding approval of the Supreme Military Council, hence the Sharia provision in the final Constitution was fundamentally amended by the Supreme Military Council under the chairmanship of General Obasanjo as Alhaji Maitama Sule recently told Nigeria. This is why advocates of the Sovereign National Conference are agitating for some understanding that no one would tamper with any decision arrived at by a National Conference or an Assembly of Nigerian peoples and their leaders if it meets for the purpose of resolving the lingering political problems afflicting this country.


      It is part of the history of Nigeria, that General Olusegun Obasanjo, as the successor of General Murtala had problems with pushing through, the Islamization Plan of Murtala. The believers in Murtala’s Islamization Plan in the Supreme Military Council, Shehu Yar’Adua, Babangida and Buhari were not powerful enough to push the plan through. They had problems with the avid defenders of the secularism in the Supreme Military Council led by the Service Chiefs {General TY Danjunma (Army), Commodore Isa Doko (Airforce) and Rear Admiral Adelanwa (Navy)}. Tinkling with what the Constituent Assembly approved was what General Obasanjo’s regime could do and it did precisely that.


      Why and how some of us in the Constituent Assembly were able to withstand the pressure of the pro-Sharia in the military has not been told. It is part of the history of Sharia episode in the Constituent Assembly that General TY Danjuma held a meeting with some of us from the Constituent Assembly to plead with us to stay on course. He was particularly worried that some of the Igbo members who originally supported the motion ably and successfully moved by Dr. Mudiaga Odje for the deletion of the Sharia provision in the Constitution were wavering. The Igbo members were worried after some northern members walked out of the Assembly. Why were some of the Igbo members wavering?


      The Igbo members came to the Constituent Assembly with two conflicting mandates. One was from the religious leaders that they should do everything to stop the Islamization of Nigeria by supporting the deletion of the Sharia provision in the Constitution. The other was from the political leaders of thought, which mandated the members from the Igboland to the Constituent Assembly to do everything to work with the Hausa/Fulani in the tradition of the old NPC and NCNC alliance in post Independence Nigeria (1960-66). How the various Igbo political leaders coped with this dilemma during and after the Constituent Assembly will be discussed in my forthcoming book. The Igbo leaders are still facing this dilemma today. To the Igbo leaders there can be compartmentalization; to the northern leaders they are joined and inseparable.


      It was General TY Danjuma who pleaded with the Igbo members of the Constituent Assembly not to yield to the pressure orchestrated by General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, the Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters. He assured them that nothing would happen to them if they stayed the course.

      It was part of the scare tactics then mounted on the Igbo members of the Constituent Assembly that a second war was in the offing if they the Igbo leaders would not cooperate with the northern l4aders on the Sharia issue. The Igbo leaders were told that the losers would not be the Yorubas or the Southern minorities and that the winners in another war would certainly be the Yorubas and the southern minorities. This was very dangerous campaign in addition of some financial and office consideration. This was hard for the Igbo leaders to comprehend as the Igbo people were still battling the aftermath of the Civil War. This was why the meeting arranged by Paul Unongo with General Danjuma was hurriedly meant to reassure the Igbo members of the Constituent Assembly to discount the pressure and veiled threat from General Yar’Adua. What was the position of the then Head of State, General Obasanjo?


      General Obasanjo then did not see anything wrong with the provision as propounded by the Pro-Sharia zealots. He did not see anything wrong with having the Sharia Court up to the highest level of the federal judiciary with a Grand Mufti as the head of the Federal Supreme Sharia Court. He was not opposed to the plan to have parity between the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Grand Mufti of the Supreme Sharia Court.


      For the interest of those who did not know of what I am talking about, under the provision in the Draft Constitution, the Grand Mufti was to have the same power like the Chief Justice of the Federation to swear in the President, Commander in Chief. Of course, the protagonists of the plan knew that the President would always be a Muslim. When some of us fought to delete the provision from the Draft Constitution in the Constituent Assembly in 1978, we knew that we were only postponing the evil day. I say this because the plan of the government of General Obasanjo was in violation of the decision of the Constituent Assembly. It was obvious to us then that the successor regime to the military whether civilian or military would whittle down the gains we made in the Constituent Assembly.

      President Shehu Shagari was a major exponent of federalizing the Sharia in the Constituent Assembly. When Alhaji Shagari became the President in 1978, the dynamics of the civilian politics did not make it possible for the new civilian to push for a full scale Islamization of the country between 1979 and 1983.

      General Muhammadu Buhari was one of the disciples of General Murtala. From what he did recently it is obvious that he is a strong believer in the political Sharia. But his regime (1983-1985) was too short to know what he too would have done with Islamization of the country, if he were to spend a longer period as the military Head of State.


      But the period of General Babangida (1985-1993) represented the beginning of unmitigated Islamization of Nigeria. General Babangida was one of the loyal followers of General Murtala. This was why General Babangida took the fateful decision in 1986 to face the Nigerian Christians in particular and Nigerians in general with the plan of Muslims. He without the approval of the governing organs of the Federal Military Government organized a mission led by a non-member of the Government, the Sultan of Sokoto to formally admit Nigeria into the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). When the Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ubitu Ukiwe complained that he knew nothing about it and definitely said that he could not remember the matter coming to the Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC), he was shown his way out. The Christians took it. The Christian leaders bought the plan of the Military President to keep them talking under the auspices of a 20-man panel to ‘examine the implications of the country’s full membership of the organization’. This was a diversion and the Christians were victims. This was not all.


      Later President Babangida set up an Advisory Council on Religious Affairs. The Council as the name implied was advisory. One was not surprised that this Council was not privy to General Babangida’s decision to take Nigeria further down the road of Islamization.


      General Babangida unilaterally made Nigeria a Shareholder of the Islamic Development Bank in January 1988. Nigeria at the time of becoming a Shareholder held 0.32% shares. Nigeria is still a Shareholder of this Bank today.


      Nigeria would recall the hue and cry over the religious cleansing of the military regime in December 20, 1989 of Christian officers. How many Nigerians still recall how the commanding heights of the IBB regime were Islamized? This was by far the most far-reaching change under the IBB administration, which had five main implications.

      That it reenacted the regional dominance of the country;
      That it reenacted the Muslim religious dominance of Nigeria;
      That it dislodged the Langtang Mafia with the humiliation of General Bali out of office and the removal of General Dongoyaro from command and influence;
      That it empowered General Abacha by making him the Chief of Defense Staff, a more enhanced position than the one held by General Bali who was just Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff.


      Despite the protest of many Christian organizations, I was not surprised that just the way he treated Christians during the OIC protest, IBB ignored the prelate who carried placards with the following inscriptions:
      Forceful Islamization Impossible;
      Christians Have no Confidence in IBB and His Administration;
      No Arab Colonization;
      Maradona, Enough of Your Hypocrisy.
      (See African Concord of January 22, 1990).
      If the foregoing are no attributes of an Islamic Country, I do not know what is an Islamic Country.


      That Nigeria is a full member of the OIC was no longer in dispute as Nigerian Islamic leaders were freely and openly participating in all the activities of the organization. The Nigerian Christians and their leaders resigned themselves to that fact with the Sultan of Sokoto flying in and out of one OIC affair or the other in different parts of the Islamic world.


      General Abacha took another fateful step when he got Nigeria into the D8, an organization of eight Islamic countries in 1997. The eight countries are
      Pakistan, and


      Under President Obasanjo, the Shariazation of the northern part of Nigeria, which commenced in one location in Gusau in Zamfara State, is now an established practice in most of the states in the north.


      Under President Obasanjo Nigeria openly participated at the President’s level in the activities of the D8 with the attendance of the President Olusegun Obasanjo at 3rd Summit of D8 in Egypt on February 24, 2001. One should ask some questions for the President of Nigeria to answer.

      What was going through President Obasanjo’s mind when he took off for Cairo that day?
      Where did President Obasanjo tell Nigerians he was going when he took off for Cairo?
      How comfortable was President Obasanjo when the other Islamic leaders surrounded him from Bangladesh, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Malaysia?
      Did President Obasanjo, a born again Christian see himself as one of the Islamic leaders?
      Did President Obasanjo see Nigeria as an Islamic country to qualify to be a member?

      Why should the Federal Government issue a statement credited to the Foreign Minster, Alhaji Sule Lamido, that D8 is not an Islamic organization and that Nigeria’s participation does not mean that Nigeria is an Islamic country. Haba!, Comrade Sule, why should you engage in disputing what is so obvious internationally? As a Foreign Minister, you should be aware of what is known internationally. If Alhaji Sule Lamido is not aware, he should read the news reports in the international media since the inauguration of the D8 through the successive Summits. He would come to one conclusion that the D8 is an organization of Islamic Countries and that membership of the organization defined by Islam.


      May I appeal to Alhaji Lamido to stop deceiving or confusing the Nigerian people. Does the Minister know that the CNN World news had this headline: ‘Islamic Leaders Debate Responses to Globalization’? This news was web posted at 10:47 am on February 25, 2001. Does the Minister think that these international media are ignorant of the developments in the world, as the Minister would want us believe?


      I do not want to discuss the merit of using this forum to attack the problems of globalization. Nigeria was in the wrong place if debt crisis is her problem. I do not want to discuss the lack of commonality among the countries except that they are all supposed to be Muslim Countries run supposedly by Islamic leaders. Nigerians were right in asking if Nigeria is a Muslim country and if President Obasanjo is an Islamic leader?


      May I with humility call on my former comrade in progressive movement in Nigeria, Alhaji Lamido to perform two tasks in the interest of his credibility as a Foreign Minister of Nigeria.

      He should search for more news items on the Web on the D8 since 1997;
      He should let Nigerians know what he found out.


      As a loyal Nigerian, may I let the Hon. Minister know what I found out from my exercise. I found out three things

      That the D8 is made up of Islamic Countries;
      That Nigeria’s membership is derived from the fact the military leader who took Nigeria to D8 knew that Nigeria is an Islamic country; and
      That the attendance of President Obasanjo at the last meeting confers on him the envious title of an Islamic leader.


      Finally, granted that General Olusegun Obasanjo had no alternative than to follow the footstep of General Murtala his former boss who was assassinated on February 13, 1976 in supporting the Murtala’s Shariazation of Nigeria in 1977/78. But President Obasanjo has no reason whatsoever to follow the footsteps of Generals Babangida and Abacha in turning Nigeria into an Islamic State by becoming an Islamic leader in the process. A Summit of Islamic leaders, which General Abacha could not attend even though he got Nigeria into it was graced by President Obasanjo!

      It is obvious that the pressure is too much for President Obasanjo. This is another reason why Nigerians of goodwill including, Chief Emeka, Anyaoku, Alhaji Babatunde Jose and Professor Adebayo Adedeji are calling for a National Conference to tackle the lingering political problems including the place of religion in the politics of Nigeria.

      Prof. Omo Omoruyi
      Research Fellow
      African Studies Center
      Boston University
      Boston, MA, USA

      ( this open letter was originally written perhaps around 2001, I think)

    • nnenne

      August 5, 2016 at 11:39 pm

      Very informing!
      Thank you.

    • Wale

      August 6, 2016 at 2:49 am

      For a second there I thought fani-Kayode wrote this, till I scrolled to the bottom. Of course, a Professor wrote this-now I shall begin reading.

  3. pinkie

    August 5, 2016 at 11:18 am

    why? what is Hajj? because it’s a muslin-related activity now, dollar don cheap.. we Christians want to go to rome and venice on holiday. we need cheap dollars too. who wee epp us?

  4. nnenne

    August 5, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Now how can we deny there’s MARGINALIZATION in Nigeria? My aunt just attended St. Anthony international conference for Catholics in the USA in July
    Infact most of their members could not come due to florex. How did the central bank assist them?
    BUHARI, we hail you!
    Military autocracy is back.
    EMEFIELE, are you a puppet?
    Where are our senators, representatives, lawyers? Sanusi, I would love to think that you are not part of this! A lot of people are ruling Nigeria today by proxy. SAD.
    Why are we paying these legislators so much for doing nothing?
    Actions like this give Nnamdi Kanu of pro Biafra, an audience.
    Everything is wrong with this and most stop!
    Nigeria is a secular state.
    I was told, military government even imported rams for Muslim celebrations. No wonder they didn’t lay any good foundation for Nigerians with all the money they had!
    Fellow Nigerians, please don’t turn the other way. This is wrong and must be stopped!

    • look at you

      August 5, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      before we say jack u will mention nnamadi kalu of pro biafra…abeg go join him for his jail……

    • Mandy

      August 5, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      You are just silly and lack understanding. Its is people like you who fail to see the bigger picture that is part of nigeria’s setbacks!

    • Samuel

      August 5, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      Government should not subsidize any religion, I don’t care whether they are Catholic bishops, Imams, Chief priest. If we want to run a “flexible exchange rate regime” then let’s run it. Not the nonsense the CBN is running now.

  5. marlvina

    August 5, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Rubbish! Total nonsense. How bout the Intl students abroad who need dollars at a minimal exchange rate for tuition? What did the CBN do? Yeye dey smell! Mshewwwww

    • Simi

      August 5, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      I have just been cursing since morning forgetting all decorum. People with medical emergencies nko?

      Meanwhile, we couldn’t fly out a national team cause no money but can afford over 40% subsidy. Or did Aisha not take dollars on this her US trip? Pschew

  6. Mogbe

    August 5, 2016 at 11:41 am

    No forex for international students, no forex for those that are doing business, but it is time for Hajj, there is forex! Oh my goodness.. How low can you go Nigeria? I am so mad, i actually thought Buhari was gonna change things. This term needs to hurry and go so we can vote him out. Damn!

    • Julie the Lily

      August 5, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      You think Buhari is GEJ? HAHAHAHA!!!!!!! You think incumbents give away power like that in Africa? HAHAHAHA!!!! GEJ spoilt you people to be very honest. HOW DO YOU VOTE A MAN OUT THAT NEVER CONCEDED DEFEAT IN THE PAST? SOMEONE WHO JUSTIFIED KILLINGS BECAUE HE LOST. HAHAHAHAAHA!

    • kilipot

      August 5, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      We will vote him out o. I swear off things don’t change. Is it his father’s property? Maybe that the one that ‘ll break Nigeria patapatA

    • Law.

      August 5, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Nigerians don’t need to wait to vote Buhari out. Nigerians can impeach him.

  7. nnenne

    August 5, 2016 at 11:45 am

    And Aisha Bjuhari is in the US for what reason again?
    Trying to prove what?
    How cost effective is her tour, when the rest of Nigerians are told to tighten their belts?
    When Nigeria is in a recession?

    • janet

      August 5, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      shame on you and fayose thats why shes in us.

    • FasholasLover

      August 5, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      Janet, how many aliases are you going to use? Following nnenne up and down. Unfortunately, people like you do not even have a job. Your parents are struggling and you are here doing what?

    • FasholasLover

      August 5, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      For those of us who know the man Buhari, we have always said a leopard can never change it’s spots. Buhari is an evil man. His aura invokes hardship and division. I wonder who is footing the Aisha trip. To what purpose really. To prove what? At whose expense? Nobody is asking questions like you said which is a shame. According to Reno Omokri, the media that was like rottweiler during GEJ’s time has suddenly become a Chihuahua. The silence is deafening.

      Religion is a personal thing and the state has no business interfering. If you want to go to hajj/Christian pilgrimage go fund your trip yourself! Who funds the atheist when they desire a conference abroad? I know the change agents are fed up but shame will not allow most of them speak up.

    • janet

      August 5, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      and your parents are spending money on you to be Fashola Lover…look at you get a decent name…anuofia

  8. Mr. Egghead

    August 5, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Business men want dollars to run their operations? Mba!
    Hajj boys want dollar? Awoof go dey run belle
    You can clearly see the priorities of this government.

    There is unbridled frittering away of our commonwealth to suit religious and ethnic goals.
    Forget all this ‘pighting kwarupshion’ mantra; this government is just as corrupt as the last one. The only difference is GEJ had some competent people while Buhari’s men are bungling clowns – even Superstar Fashola seems stymied

    Our country is becoming a mess.
    1. Recently, Kano film village was cancelled for religious reasons.
    Nollywood producers are begging for a film village in Asaba or Enugu, yet nothing for them. But those who don’t want it are being begged to accept it.

    2. 2016 JAMB admission list was recently withdrawn because it didn’t appropriately reflect ‘educationally disadvantaged’ states.
    But how you help those that don’t want to be helped?
    Go to school? Mba! They’ll be at home jacking Quran
    The Almajiri schools built by GEJ are wasting away in Kano and Gombe. Ganduje’s government has refused to kick-off the project.
    His reason: The schools are ‘too small’ and they don’t want the pupils to be stigmatized. What kind of silly reasoning is that?
    Tomorrow, they’ll come and claim ‘educationally disadvantaged’ and demand federal character for employment, yet 200/400 in JAMB is hard for some of them

    Don’t blame those who want out of this zoo.

    • Cynical

      August 5, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Honestly, I just can’t with Nigeria….,, what the hell is really going on??? Did they swear for us Biko? At this point @ Mr Egghead, I am at the front of the line of those that want out of this zoo??? No Nigerian leader has conscience, just what can I grab for me and mine and my generations yet unborn.

    • Tunde

      August 5, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      This is the first time EVER I have to agree with you on any issue Egghead.

      To have thought that even with the hardship, I would have voted Buhari again in 2019. His most recent actions and non actions are applaulling to say the least.

      Am yet to see anything work! No laid down plan except the continuation of those plans by same people we voted out. No minister or policy has won my heart. Please don’t even go to Fashola. Social media bill, woman right bill, basic social bills that the house should pass without prejudice had to call for a public outcry! Dogara diverted my water irrigation project to his farm?

      I still use private HMO, my kids still attend private schools, I still employ private security, I provide my own water, take care of my own waste, etc. lets not even talk abt food. My gran still pays for consultancy at close to 100. Even if we do have rights as human beings to basic amenities how about social or physical securities.

      And to think I voted under the rain so folks going for prigrimage can have their funds subsidized or 83 year old man that knows nothing abt data heading NCC, woman who can’t even recite her pledge for allegence made an ambassador, etc

      I can’t lead this country, but this is an appeal

      Can someone who has a great vision and passion come forward to rule us in 2019. I want someone who is completely selfless, hardworking and unbiased. God bless Nigeria

    • artklub

      August 5, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      Here I am Tunde! And I can do it via Skype part-time, and still do a better job than these imbeciles. Call me 🙂

  9. Ethio

    August 5, 2016 at 11:57 am

    businesses that create employment: no fg intervention
    international students: no fg intervention
    international medicare: no fg intervention
    imported food price hike: no fg intervention
    every other thing except islamic backwardness :no fg intervention, we’re in trouble!
    *kadara and her rotten pucci should be on her way to saudi Arabia by now* silently beckoning on the devil to cause another stampede over there.. a bigger one that wil include you

  10. nwa nna

    August 5, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Nigeria is a hella of an interesting country where the government priorities are continually misplaced at every juncture..
    I have never understood why the FGN sponsor religious pilgrimage?! If a person decides to make their way to mecca, Jerusalem, Jericho or Babylon, let them pay out of their own pockets and let them buy the necessary FX at the official rate like everyone else!! The whole issue of subsidizing the $$ for pilgrimage makes absolutely zero sense and again sends the wrong message to Nigerians during these austere times being faced by Nigeria. Then again this is Nigeria we’re talking about, the land of misplaced governmental priorities…

  11. Engoz

    August 5, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Why are we so crazy about religion in this country? My God!!! You did not subsidize for education but for religion? Buhari, this is a FAIL!!!

  12. Oma

    August 5, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    When are we going to learn to separate religion from state? I’m tired of this country.

  13. gista

    August 5, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    So much for ‘I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody’. Where’s CAN when you need them?

    • nwa nna

      August 5, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      @gista, PMB belongs to everybody as long as you’re a Northerner…. And this is coming from a PMB supporter that was cautiously optimistic that he could effect the much needed change by Nigeria!

    • Engoz

      August 5, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      As a christian, I am not even interested in them subsidizing for Christian pilgrimages. If they have done it in the past, it needs to be cancelled! Can we channel this into more PRODUCTIVE institutions such as in academia or industry? What has organized religion done for us as a people? WTH is wrong with us? For a party that rode on the slogan of CHANGE, how on earth do you describe this as change? Is there no PROGRESSIVE thinking individual in our country?

  14. Sassymsethni

    August 5, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Well, well, well. Here we go again. Mr President playing the favoritism and religious bias card since the 20th century. And I guess we the masses will be the ones to pay for all the deficits such abysmally low exchange rates will create. It seems to me that we’re being led by a pack ignorant inhumane Godless men and women. And nobody is doing anything about it. And no, going on twitter and commenting on blogs doesn’t count. The people who have the real power and can fix this mess probably have their greedy mouths stuffed with our country’s funds. The Nigerian people are on their own. This government will ruin us all. And it’s not just about this. Every day there’s something. Some new ridiculous policy to further opress the suffering Nigeria masses. What have we gained from the floating exchange rate system so far?? Our leaders only come up with selfish ideas and policies to benefit and protect they and their greedy corrupt elitist friends. Whatever the intentions for this new laughable economic fiasco, shame on the Nigerian government. And shame on all the pivotal Nigerians who have kept mute and allowed this great Nation deteriorate painfully.

  15. Julie the Lily

    August 5, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    HAHAHAHAHA! no forex for students, no forex for businessmen (apart from dangote), no forex for ill people (apart from Buhari when he has ear problems) but VOILA forex at subdized rate for hajj. HAHAHAHAHA. This is a really good joke, never knew the APC were planning to do stand up comedy

  16. Naijatalk

    August 5, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Kadara Kadara, I beg you in the name of God, please show up here and defend this. I will be MIGHTY surprised and impressed if this same policy was not applied to Aisha and all her cronies who traveled to the USA. Nigeria’s greatness is in her unity. GEJ Biko know when to mechionu. Daddy OBJ go and talk to your military brother.

    • Naijatalk

      August 5, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      No wonder Sanusi said Nigeria’s economy has never been better.

    • kilipot

      August 5, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      @naijatalk. Abeg, can u leave Kadara, ada nnewi and co alone. Afterall they didn’t vote with your card. You had yours and voted as u wished just as they did also. If u want to make a,point or criticize the government go ahead without holding them accountable they are not your president, governor or local government chairman.
      They voted just as you did.
      This madness really has to stop. I don’t know why BN keeps encouraging such acts by posting such comments.
      The hatred, dirty fights, name callings and tribalism on blogs is alarming.

      Back to the issue. Clearly Nigeria is just a see liar state on paper. We should not keep quiet about these issues. I am believing the team ruling Nigeria now headed by Bulgaria himself, is totally clueless as the last. Is it that no one is advising him or he is not listening or what, I just don’t get it.

    • Naijatalk

      August 5, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      @kilipot, I can call whoever I want to thank you. I only called out Kadara (no mention of Ada news so please read well) because he/she is very absent and silent on the issue of herdsmen killings, an issue which I am more vocal and concerned about than even this foolishness. However, when it comes to NIger delta issues, Kadara has all the opinion to offer. So excuse me and swipe left.

    • The Truth Identity.

      August 5, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      We were “”United States of Nigeria””, and now Nigeria is also “”headed by Bulgaria””? What kind of scary, rapid ‘upgrade’ is this?
      Lord please help us!

    • NationalSquirrel

      August 6, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      Shut up

  17. Samuel

    August 5, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    This is truly tragic, that the Government will be subsiding religious people going on their pilgrimage, Of What use is it to the country? Especially as our main foreign exchange ($) earnings are low as a result of price (although the situation has improved since January price levels) and criminal activities in the oil producing regions of our country. This is a government that says that “oh there’s no money” “oh change is a process”, But why on earth are we sponsoring people to practice their religion. Yet the same buffoons at CBN (and indeed the FG) will say “no money for foreign school fees” “new foreign exchange regime”. Governement should not subsidize anyone (Christian, Muslims, ATR). I will have finally lost faith in this administration if indeed this decision came with the approval of the President (cause Emefiele looks like someone who panders to one direction or another just to please people). And to the people who are more concerned with if Christians also get the same thing, yes they do, the Pilgrimage for this year hasn’t come. In previous years the same favors are extended to them too. But why should government subsidize religion??????

  18. Duchess of Isolo

    August 5, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    First it was the moon. A whole country’s economy was halted, put on stand by etc. because our dear Muslims, who by the way have caused this country unimaginable, unphathomable immense pain and suffering and brought about most of the things that are horrible in the country, couldn’t find the moon. Then it was Hijab in Lagos, like schools have now become mosques or prayer houses for their Boko haram siblings. Now this????????(!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is it?!!!! I can see Buhari is thirsty for a revolution! He is clamouring for somebody to go Jerry Rawlings on the federal government. Is it not this same pilgrimage that they said the Africans caused the stampede? Buhari puts this country in hardship just so he and Boko haram can go boost the economy of the Arabs, who for the most part see blacks as subhuman. Oh God! Nigerians I mourn our country for it is finished!

  19. Person

    August 5, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    How does this make any sense? What is the purpiose of floating the naira if the govt will still be interfering with sensless policies? Anybody that wants to go on a pilgrimage, Christian or Muslim, should buy dollars at the market rate!!! Businessmen, students, patients seeking medical advice can not get forex but religous activities can? Nigeria is doomed o. Let us stop decieving ourselves.

  20. zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    August 5, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    This morning I was just telling my colleagues that I would like to go to Israel on pilgrimage but the exchange rate is deterring me. I planned on sponsoring myself cause my state Government has stopped sponsoring pilgrimages . Even if the Govmnt was still sponsoring I would have to buy from someone. The bottom line is plan and sponsor your pilgrimage yourself. The government should henceforth hands of.f

  21. The Ignorant

    August 5, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    I really pray that Nigerian blogs can step up their game, so many people rely on this blogs for “correct” information and news. Bella Naija, I think you could have done better with your headline and the story, you could have put it out there that not only Muslims are enjoying this benefit, or have enjoyed this benefit. I really liked the way you reported the Mayowa Ahmed’s Case, with out casting blames on anyone, your report was the only one I appreciated. I wish you would embrace more of that style of writing, The youth of today, we are so hot headed, and ignorant to certain things, we come on this blogs read this half stories, and carry them around, not knowing better.
    To the ones above making stupid noise, subsidizing the dollar for religious pilgrimage did not start with Buhari and it is not exclusive to muslims. Stop fighting with Google, use your data to learn, and stop confusing people. See the pitiful amount they are even allowed to exchange, mttccchheww!

    • Naijatalk

      August 5, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Yes but Buhari is the one who has embraced austerity and cutbacks so the belt tightening should begin with him, and every policy by his administration will be heavily scrutinized and measured against the anti-corruption and no waste stance, afterall that was his campaign sell.

    • Soja go, soja come, Barrack Remain.

      August 5, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      @The Ignorant (you said it not me), did you by any chance read @July the Lily’s comment?

      “”Christians got a subisidy of 37 Naira last year, they were made to buy dollars officially at 160 naira (official rate at the time was still 197) , the muslims got a subsidy of 113 naira this year since dollars will be sold to them at 197 naira (official rate today is 310) . Care to explain why same subsidy wasn’t applied to both travellers?”

    • Simi

      August 5, 2016 at 11:39 pm

      The fact that it did not start with this government does not mean that it cannot stop with this government. Change literally means a turning point. We must not continue a pattern that doesn’t work because …na so we meet am.

      You entirely missed the point of our argument, austerity must apply across board. In fact, sponsored pilgrimages (Christian or Muslim) have always been an issue and have always been decried by many. However, at this time, in these circumstances, it stings even more. That is our point, if you care.

    • Iris

      August 6, 2016 at 6:01 am

      You know what adaptability is right? Buhari has made many changes in the name austerity, things that did not start with his government. Why didn’t he change this too?

  22. krista

    August 5, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    I weep for my country, I weep for nigeria. Buhari is just unveiling his plans gradually. Let’s not wake up one day to hear that nigeria has been islamized. What type of nonsense is this. We need to do something has a nation, we need to fight for our right and future. The fulani herdsmen are causing havoc everywhere they go and buhari has not said again thing. Buhari you are the worse thing that has ever happened to nigeria. And your evil plan will never come to pass. Kai, I weeep!

  23. Confuzzled

    August 5, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Niger Delta people see what they are using our oyel money to do ooooo!!!! I’m in tears.

  24. missnk

    August 5, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    so students can’t get forex? Buhari as unsympathetic as he is basically told them to f**k off. But there is enough money to subsidise religious trips?
    I’m tired of this display of lunacy, Nigeria is not a religious state so where is all this rubbish coming from?

  25. Expert

    August 5, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Please let us put things in the right perspective, this is not about Hajj or Buhari being a Muslim or about APC or Politics. Recall that FGN also subsidized Christian Pilgrimage as well. Also, in the past, FGN used to sponsor Hajj Operations 100%. The real issue is that FGN is wasting money on Religious activities in this period of highly-depressed economy. Religious Organizations are like NGOs which are funded voluntarily by members. I do not even support the idea of organized Pilgrimage to Bethlehem/Jerusalem etc. How does it help one’s faith as a Christian? These are trips, Christians can take at their convenience (and not depend on Government) just like visit to Dubai/US/UK for vacation. If you are Christian and you are looking for where to go, your Parish is the next available place…Hajj Pilgrimage also should be at one’s convenience. It is not a do or die affair. Neither State Government nor FGN should spend any kobo on religious activities. The best thing they can do is to partner with religious organizations to reinforce the teaching of CRK (for Christians) and IRK (for Muslims) in Public Schools. I am really disappointed by FGN at this development. We need to get our priorities right. What we need now is to restore the economy to enable the Masses afford their basic needs.

    • Oma

      August 5, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      @Expert, i think majority of us on here are saying exactly the same thing you are, there is no other ‘perspective’ as you say.

  26. artklub

    August 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    SOMEONE do Something!! Stop these DUMMIES in Government NOW!!!

    • artklub

      August 5, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      OMG, I cannot wait until Nigerians get to the tipping point and freak out! Just cannot WAIT!!!

    • Simi

      August 5, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      We will soon get there. Venezuela has reached there and it will do Nigeria well to learn from it now. Like they said ‘when the poor have nothing to eat, the will eat the rich’. O tan!!!

  27. Iris

    August 5, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Just when you think government directives cannot get dumber they sink to a new low. They may as well give them the money for free and pay for ticket and accommodation. What kind of madness is this? The dollar is pretty much at 400 and they want to sell it at 197 because of Hajj. First of all, stop directing private entities to do shit as the wind blows! Secondly, keep your nose out of religious issues that seem more and more to favour one group and Face. Your. Work!
    Honestly everything I feared about this man is coming into fruition – modern day military dictatorship without the uniform, complete with shoe-maker thinking. Ugh!

    • Iris

      August 5, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      Also, they should stop subsidising any pilgrimages, full stop. What is the government’s business with your religious aspirations? They haven’t found a way to fix the health care and basic amenities they should actually be working on and they’ve gone to face religious pilgrimage.

  28. Sisi

    August 5, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Nigeria which way? All this while I was still patiently waiting for something tangible/credible to come out of Buhari’s government, till date nothing. Now this and people will sit down and this will just be allowed to happen! Civil society and democratic participation mean nothing. Social media rants will not save anyone. SMEs, guilds, business associations, professional services – your voice please?Finance Minister is this apprpropriate? CBN Chair with all the problems facing the economy this is the priority? Hmmmmm it seems think Nigeria’s problems are actually just starting.

  29. Teju Tj

    August 5, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    I just want to know who you guys are voting for in 2019.

    • Naijatalk

      August 5, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      We don’t have any credible candidates yet. If you present yourseld, and are properly vetted and I believe in you, you will have my vote.

    • artklub

      August 5, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      Sweetie I’m here, I will rule via Skype & drones – part-time, and still do a better job than these Boo-Boo Heads! Let me know when to start 🙂

    • Naijatalk

      August 6, 2016 at 12:32 am

      @artklub, I have never doubted your abilities friend. You have my vote already 🙂

    • Oma

      August 5, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      @Teju, we don’t know whom we are voting for yet, we only know who we are VOTING OUT!

  30. Mama

    August 5, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    So government is still sponsoring religious voyages? I thought this was stopped.

  31. MzD

    August 5, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    I have lost hope in this administration!!!
    The only question i keep asking is what next after 2019???
    Which party is credible enough to lead Nigeria???
    Dear Lord……….

  32. Wise

    August 5, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Insane!! What direction Nigeria?!!!!

  33. artklub

    August 5, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Nigeria RELIGIOSITY go Kill U!

  34. The Bull

    August 5, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    A country that could barely sponsor her athletes to the olympic games, is sponsoring people on Pilgrimage, pilgrimages that add nothing to the country. Religion has really finished Nigeria, one of the main reasons critical reasoning is at an all time low.

  35. nana

    August 5, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Weep not Nigeria! He will die in office and you will all have your peace. It’s not far off…..Next time…… vote with wisdom and dont be like the Israelites wanting Saul!

  36. mrs chidukane

    August 5, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Na wa oh. This is getting more irritating every day .,Nigerian government leave religion and face your work. Buhari has gone against all his campaign promises, what a waste of effort. To think I was supporting him up and down thinking he had an agenda . Even if he does magic, he will not win APC primaries.

  37. Mash

    August 6, 2016 at 3:47 am

    It was reversed.

    CBN Withdraws N197 Pilgrimage Exchange Rate Circular.

    Central Bank of Nigeria on Friday reacted to the outrage over its N197 exchange rate subsidy for pilgrimage by deleting the controversial circular from its website.

    • Naijatalk

      August 6, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      Explain how deletion from website equates reversing a policy? Do you have concrete proof?

    • Naijatalk

      August 6, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      And for your information, it is still on there. I am not sure how to feel sorry for you

    • TeeCee

      August 6, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      This boy. I don’t know how to help you receive brain for real sha

  38. Tunmi

    August 6, 2016 at 5:07 am

    I keep hearing Buhari, Buhari. Isn’t CBN independent of the executive got?

  39. Vivi

    August 6, 2016 at 9:25 am

    I wonder why this is not cascaded to business people who contributes to the growth of the economy?

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