The presidency has refuted allegations that Buhari’s administration is partial to Muslims.
The statement came as a result of backlash on the dollar subsidy the CBN purportedly granted Muslim pilgrims enroute to Saudi Arabia.
The Presidency added that Christian pilgrims who embarked on pilgrimages to Jerusalem enjoyed the same largess last year.
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) clarified that FG did not grant any foreign exchange discount to Muslim pilgrims.
“NAHCON wishes to draw the attention of the public to the fact that the federal government has not given any foreign exchange waiver to Nigerian pilgrims performing this year’s hajj.
“This is the only thing that the government did: It allowed the exchange rate prevalent at the time of payment of Hajj fares in February.
“As at then, the current flexible exchange rate was not in action, to subsist.
“It is therefore mischievous for some persons to peddle unfounded claims.
“The federal government did not give the pilgrims any waiver,” Spokesperson for NAHCON said.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President also clarified that last year, Christian pilgrims were given a concessionary rate of N160 to the dollar.
Garba Shehu stated that the CBN’s directive and the critique that followed it was aimed at slurring the president.
Garba said both Muslim and Christian Pilgrims get the same concessions every year, questioning why the backlash of reactions from certain quarters.
He said: “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.
‘Then, 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.
“It is not also true that the president favors Muslims.
“Every year in this country, Muslims and Christians have always paid the same rate.
“This also applied to Christians when they got their rate at N160 as CBN has explained.
“There was no concession given to Muslim pilgrims.
“They didn’t ask for a concession and they were not given any.
“They asked for the prevailing exchange rate and approval was given on the basis of that,” Garba said.
The president further said he’s impartial to both Christians and Muslims since “Religion is a private matter.”