The Federal Government has pegged the exchange rate for both Christian and Muslim Pilgrims for this year pilgrimage to the holy lands of Israel and Saudi Arabia to $1 to #150 as against the official rate of about #165.
President Goodluck Jonathan has also approved 30,000 Christian Pilgrims for this years pilgrimage to Israel. Niger State is allotted with 700 slots.
The Executive Secretary of Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) Mr. John Kennedy Okpara disclosed this in Minna yesterday when he paid the governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu a visit in Government House.
He told his host that since 2012 federal government had been intervening in the exchange rate to enable Nigerians performed their spiritual obligations to their creator.
Okpara said that last year the exchange rate was pegged at #145 when the official rate was #155 to a dollar.
“Just last week President Goodluck Jonathan graciously approved the exchange rate for Christian and Muslim Pilgrims at #150 when the official rate now is between #160 and #165 for this year’s pilgrimage to the holy lands,” the NCPC boss disclosed.
He also said that out of the 30,000 Pilgrims approved for this year 700 will come from Niger State.
Okpara who said he was in Minna on commendation visit for the magnanimity of Governor Aliyu to Christian Pilgrims since 2007 said efforts are on to airlift Pilgrims from the state from Minna airport.
He however said this will be done after the airline engaged for the October/December pilgrimage must have inspected and approve of the Minna airport.
Governor Aliyu commended the federal government for pegging the exchange rate at #150. He said the decision would afford more people from both religions to carry out their obligations.