‘Forex allocation for Hajj pilgrims predates current fiscal adjustment’

By Abimbola Fashakin, Lagos

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele has reacted to criticism trailing the decision of the apex bank to sell the Dollar to Muslim pilgrims at N197.

Reacting to the criticism on Tuesday in a statement issued by the bank, Emefiele said there has been an agreement with the Pilgrim’s Commission to sell the dollar at 197 Naira long before the latest fiscal and monetary adjustments.

In the statement, a copy of which was made available to BLACKFACE, Emefiele added that the pilgrims had made advanced payments for the exercise prior to the commencement of the operations.

The CBN had last Thursday directed banks and authorised forex dealers to sell the Pilgrims Travelling Allowance, PTA, to intending pilgrims at a concessionary exchange rate of 197 Naira to a dollar.

“Each pilgrim is entitled to purchase a minimum of $750 and maximum of $1,000 as PTA.

“The Federal Government has approved that intending pilgrims are to be sold the PTA at a concessionary exchange rate of 197 Naira to the US dollar.

“No commission shall be charged by the banks for the sale of the PTA to the intending pilgrims,” the statement read.

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