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Saudi govt reads riot act to Nigeria pilgrims

06 September 2016, 16:22

Abuja - The government of Saudi Arabia has warned pilgrims participating in the 2016 hajj that it would arrest and prosecute those who violate its schedule, Naij reports.

The government was particular about the stoning of the devil ritual at Jamarat.

The new warning is meant to forestall a repeat of the stampede that occurred in 2015 in Mina which led to the death of more that 2000 pilgrims.

A representative of the country’s hajj ministry, Sheikh Mohammed, told Nigerian officials about the warning and informed them that guides would be assigned to 250 pilgrims at a time.

He said: “Any Pilgrim seen alone in Jamarat will be arrested and will face he highest punishment,” the Saudi official said.

“No flight arrives or departs the Airport until it’s rime is due, we intend to apply the same procedure for Jamarat.

“Take this schedule and timing as serious as the time for prayers.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had last month, directed banks and authorised forex dealers to sell the Pilgrims Travelling Allowance, PTA, to intending pilgrims at a concessionary exchange rate of N197 to $1 according to News24.

In a circular marked, TED/FEMFPC/GEN/01/005, the CBN said: "Each pilgrim is entitled to purchase a minimum of $750.00 and maximum of US$1 000.00 as PTA. The Federal Government has approved that intending pilgrims are to be sold the PTA at a concessionary exchange rate of N197.00 to the US dollar.

“No commission shall be charged by the banks for the sale of the PTA to the intending pilgrims. The Central Bank of Nigeria shall sale the PTA to the designated banks in Lagos and Abuja and the accounts of the respective banks shall be debited as soon as the funds are disbursed….”

- News 24


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