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FG’s hajj subsidy ₦90bn setback–Atedo

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By Abraham Adekunle

Stanbic IBTC founder comments on the subsidy’s impact on the economy.

Atedo Peterside, the founder of Stanbic IBTC and ANAP Foundation, has criticized the Federal Government’s decision to subsidize the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage with ₦90 billion, describing it as a setback for Nigeria’s Economy. In an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today, Peterside expressed his disapproval of the government’s move, stating that it sends the wrong signals to Investors and hinders the country’s economic progress. The Federal Government’s subsidy for the pilgrimage has been a contentious issue in Nigeria, with many arguing that it is a form of religious favouritism and a drain on the country’s resources.

The government’s decision to subsidize the pilgrimage with ₦90 billion has been particularly controversial, given the country’s current economic challenges. Peterside’s criticism of the government’s decision is not only based on economic grounds but also on the political implications of such a move. He believes that the government’s action has a political undertone, aimed at scoring cheap political points ahead of the 2027 general elections. He warned that such actions could lead to further division and instability in the country.

Concerns over the handling of the foreign exchange market.

Also, the economist expressed his concerns about the government’s handling of the foreign exchange market, particularly the depreciation of the Naira against the dollar. He advised the government to take a more sustainable approach to stabilizing the currency, rather than trying to force an appreciation. According to him, the central bank should aim to stabilize the naira at a level that can be sustained for a while, gradually building up the reserve to restore confidence in the currency.

This issue has been a long-standing one, with many arguing that it is a form of religious favouritism and a drain on the country’s resources. The government’s decision to subsidize the pilgrimage with ₦90 billion has been particularly controversial, given the country’s current economic challenges. Recently, the Nigerian government has been subsidizing Hajj to the tune of billions of naira. The subsidy is meant to help reduce the cost of the pilgrimage for Nigerian Muslims, who are required to make the journey at least once in their lifetime if they have the means.

Criticism of the government initiative for Muslims.

However, many have argued that the subsidy is unfair to non-Muslims, who do not benefit from such largesse. And the subsidy has been criticized for being a drain on the country’s resources, which could be better spent on other pressing needs such as education, healthcare, and Infrastructure development. The government’s decision to subsidize the pilgrimage with ₦90 billion has been particularly controversial, given the country’s current economic challenges. In addition to the economic implications, the government’s decision to subsidize the Hajj pilgrimage has also been criticized for its political undertones.

Many have argued that the government’s action is aimed at scoring cheap political points ahead of the 2027 general elections, rather than being a genuine attempt to support Nigerian Muslims. The subsidy for the pilgrimage has also been criticized for its lack of transparency and accountability. Many have questioned how the funds are allocated and utilized, and whether the subsidy actually benefits the intended recipients. There have been allegations of Corruption and mismanagement of the funds, which has further fuelled the controversy surrounding the subsidy.

Related Article: Over 51K register for Hajj pilgrimage

Furthermore, the subsidy for Hajj has also been criticized for its potential to create social and religious tensions. Many have argued that the subsidy is a form of religious favouritism, which could lead to resentment and division among different religious groups in the country. The government’s decision to subsidize Hajj with ₦90 billion has been particularly controversial, given the country’s current economic challenges and the need for unity and stability. Peterside’s criticism is a timely reminder of the need for fiscal responsibility and economic prudence in Nigeria.


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