AS E DEY HOT BY Ismail : Budget Padding and The Pilgrim exchange rate

Top of the list on As E dey Hot this Wednesday is the issue of Budget Padding and "197 exchange rate for Pilgrims"

It seems the federal government has decided to come clean and free itself of any "scandal' as regards the issue of budget padding.

The Federal government has said that despite the ongoing allegations and counter-allegations of padding the 2016 budget by some members of the House of Representatives, it did not assent to a padded budget.

Speaking at the Abuja Town hall meeting yesterday August 9th, the Minister of Budget and National Planning Udoma Udo Udoma said the budget that was signed by President Buhari on May 6th was well scrutinized and passed the due process of appropriation at the National Assembly.

“We did not assent to a padded budget. The budget followed through the various stages of preparation and scrutiny and appropriation before it was signed into law.’’‎he said.

Also still under Budget padding, Abdulmumin Jibrin , sacked chairman of the House committee on Appropriation, was yesterday grilled for about 7 hours at the EFCC headquarters and there are plans that the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Yakubu Dogara, might be called soon by the Anti-Corruption agency

Pilgrims were never granted preferential exchange rate

Following the announcement by the apex bank of Nigeria that Nigerian banks should exchange the "Dollar " at teh rate of #197 to the Naira for   Pilgrims( Christain and Muslim) . This announcement generated numerous negative comments but in a recent report, The CBN governor clarifies the issue

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has debunked claims in certain quarters suggesting that prospective pilgrims have been granted concessionary foreign exchange rate for the 2016 pilgrimage. This is contained in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday by the bank's acting Director of Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor.

According to the statement, the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said there was no preferential exchange rate of any sort to intending pilgrims.

He clarified that laid down procedure was followed in arriving at the exchange rate for the pilgrims.

“What is obtainable is that every year, prior to the commencement of the pilgrimage, the commission, both Christian and Muslims, approach the CBN to agree on the exchange rate for the personal travel allowance (PTA) for that particular year.

"In this case is between 750 dollars and 1,000 dollars per pilgrim,” he said.

He further explained that the agreement to sell foreign exchange to the pilgrims at the rate of N197 to the Dollar was reached as far back as April 2016 at the prevailing rate then.

According to the CBN Governor, this particular agreement is applicable to both intending Christian and Muslim pilgrims.

Your reactions to these stories would be highly appreciated!

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