I always tell my close friends whom I discuss Nigeria ‘politrics’ with….COMMUNICATION is key when it comes to engaging the people. Seriously, I don’t think Nigerian politicians know the meaning of engaging its citizenry. When comments from the Presidency suggests Nigerians ‘don’t know what they are talking about’, that concerns me. Its insulting. There are ways in which Shehu Garba could have communicated the ‘Hajj Exchange Rate’ fiasco. “People are just being mischievous by dwelling on this thing” is uncalled for. – Jide Salu
The presidency has said that the concessionary exchange rate of N197 to a dollar given to Muslim pilgrims going for this year’s hajj in Saudi Arabia is not a sign of bias to Muslims as Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem also got same during last year’s hajj.
The presidency claimed that the policy was approved before the current flexible exchange rate which has seen the Naira decline to about N400 to a dollar came into effect.
According to presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, the CBN had confirmed the approval as far back as March this year, but failed to notify the public at the time. He added that Buhari had not at any time shown any form of bias towards Muslims over Christian pilgrims as Christians enjoyed a concessionary rate of N160 to the dollar in 2015.
Shehu stated that the wave of criticism following the CBN’s announcement last week was targeted at discrediting the president.
“NAHCON did not ask for concessionary rate and was not given a concessionary rate. They asked to be given forex at the prevailing exchange rate and at that time, it was N197 to $1 and they entered into a contract with intending pilgrims that they will pay at the given rate.
“So no wrong had been done. People are just being mischievous by dwelling on this thing,” he said.