Weakening Naira forces Nigerian pilgrims to cut down on spending


Many Nigerian pilgrims currently in Saudi Arabia for this year’s pilgrimage say they have cut down on their spending following the fall in the value of the Naira.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that a number of the pilgrims interviewed in Medinah said they have restricted their spending to only the basics.

They said they now spend only on feeding and commuting within the city.

Some said they had prepared for this situation by bringing along items such as toothpaste, soap and cream, among others, to save cost.

They said while there was no significant increase in the prices of many items in the shops, they still found them very expensive in comparison to their cost in Naira.

“I have cut down on my expenses and I am avoiding the purchase of those gift items which I can find back home,” a pilgrim from Katsina who preferred to stay anonymous said.

“This is because when I converted the prices to our Naira, I found out that it will be cheaper to buy such items back home.”

“I only buy items such as food, because feeding is essential,” another pilgrim, Ali Adamu, said.

The agency also reports also that many of the pilgrims have been patronising local food vendors who are mostly Nigerians resident in Saudi Arabia.

These food vendors have become more popular because their charges are much less than those of the restaurants and other eateries run by the locals.

Similarly, NAN observed that other nationals, especially Africans, also patronise these Saudi Arabia-based Nigerian food vendors.

NAN reports that while banks and bureaux de change do not accept the Naira currency however, it can be changed at the ATMs.

A pilgrim who used the facility said the Naira changed for N102 to one Saudi Riyal.

A Nigerian, who exchanges the Naira for the Riyal, told NAN that he changed one Riyal at N125.

The Nigerian, who declined to give his name but only said he is from Borno State, said this was different from the N66 one Riyal was exchanged for during 2015 hajj.

“We do not like what is happening to our currency. Even the Saudis are not happy,” he said.

He, however, added that the situation was not limited to the Nigerian currency as currencies of other countries such as Iran, Sudan and Ghana are experiencing similar fall in value.


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  • Reverend J. Jones


    Is Premium Times a Jihadist organization? I am asking this question because Premium Times
    did not follow Christians to Jerusalem for pilgrimage to report how Naira devaluation spoilt
    the Christian pilgrimage. But see Premium Times quickly shouting that Naira depreciation
    has affected Muslim pilgrims. What sort of unfair reporting is this one? The Muslim pilgrims
    even got dollar at 198 Naira per dollar. President Buhari did his own Jihad for that one.
    But the same President Buhari did not give any dollar allocation to students abroad.
    Instead of Premium Times to scream havoc that President Buhari fosters illiteracy,
    Premium Times is busy saying Muslims cannot fill up their suitcases in Mecca.

    • sho

      But we know this simple truth as self-evident; that Premium Times is a Mujahedeen media-organization

      where the Hijab is the compulsory wear for all its journalists in the newsroom and even in the staff canteen.

      • amazing2012

        Prove it ? And what is wrong if you have a dress code that signifies sanctity than the satanic dressing of pagans ?

    • amazing2012

      Reverend you are actually ignorant to know that premium is pro-Christians media. This news is to destroy the image of the president who happen to be a Muslim in the eye of Nigeria Muslims.
      Unfortunately to most of us, it is a good situation because pilgrims go for prayers not shopping (with people money). And Nigeria pilgrims contributed much to the economy of the countries they visited.
      Reverand please read beyond your nose to stop confirming ignorance.

    • Smart

      The reason why, is that there is no commandment for pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the holy Bible.
      I think that’s why the great PT didn’t follow you there.

    • Rommel

      There is nothing like pilgrimage in Christianity as a sacrament, but it is one of the pillars of that religion,you may call it what you like but that is what the religion says its adherents should do.

    • Wizard

      That is the problem! You are not a good student of comparative religions. For your information, observance of Hajj ones in the life of Muslim, is one of the pillars of Islaam for those who can afford it. Can you quote for me anywhere and in any of the bibles where pilgrimage was ordained for Christians?

  • Bakassi Boy

    Premium Times Editor,


    I am hearing that some disgruntled elements are grumbling that President Buhari will increase petrol price to 200 Naira
    per litre soon because of the devaluation of the Naira on the street at today’s price of 430 Naira to a dollar. Why the
    grumbling? Where were these Nigerians four months ago when President Buhari increased the same petrol price
    from 96 Naira a litre to 145 Naira a litre? Why did these disgruntled elements not complain at that time?

    Nigeria Labour Congress called strike action at the time to protest that increase but uselessly adamant Nigerians refused
    to answer the NLC or go on any strike action. Therefore, all Nigerians must shut up once President Buhari announces 200 Naira per litre increase. Since Nigerians accept SAI BABA economics of higher and higher tax, they can’t turn round in the middle and complain of anything. The Police must import more bullets to shoot anybody that protests 200 Naira to a litre
    of petrol. Useless people deserve useless government.

  • Mamman

    Good development!!!! They are not there for a shopping spree but a spiritual rebirth & d fulfilment of their religious obligations to themselves. Good development, honestly. Well done PT for making my day.

    • Yooba Ponbele

      Which spiritual rebirth? After the hajj, they still come back home and shed innocent blood.

  • KBE

    After buying ‘scarce’ forex for 197 naira per dollar. The same dollars that was denied students and those seeking treatment abroad.

    • No Comment


      “Did you say the man
      (Alhaji Ishaq Akintola of MURIC) is a professor? May God have mercy on Nigeria,
      if that is the kind of professors that we produce. If you look at the photo or
      video of Kerry in the palace of the Sultan (of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar),
      you’ll see the flag of America and you’ll see the flag of Nigeria with the Sultan
      sitting in-between. That shows that the Sultan is now the president of Nigeria.
      The professor (Alhaji Ishaq Akintola) knows that there is a hidden agenda
      in that meeting. Christians are watching as this country is being gradually
      Islamised. We want to know why we were not invited to that meeting. We also
      want to know why the Nigerian flag was hoisted in the palace of the Sultan.”

      ………………Rev. Musa Asake
      (Secretary Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN)
      [September 4th, 2016]

      • O.O Esquire

        Alhaji Ishaq Akintola is officially designated a professor of ISLAM at Lagos State University.

        • Weydem


          A terrible, backward and feudal one-man rule was set up in Lagos
          on the basis of Islam as overriding credential for public office, except as
          deputy or as adviser, just to colorably comply with FEDERAL CHARACTER
          and win the Christian votes for overlord Muslims in APC Islamist party hierarchy.

          This cheap trick
          was used since 2003 but the Christians in Lagos are too naive or too daft to
          see through Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Islamist shenanigan. It was Bola Tinubu
          who allegedly cemented his coalition of Muslims in Lagos by imposing Oba Akiolu
          – a rabid and reckless Islamist – as the current Oba of Lagos. And Oba Akiolu has
          since then been complimenting by competing with Lai Muhammed in irresponsible
          political utterances.

          • Weydem

            ….AKIN AMBODE is trapped in a den of Lagos Muslims (2)

            When the Lagos Christians
            woke up in the year 2013 and insisted on a Christian governor, it was almost
            too late, because Alhaji Bola Tinubu and Alhaji Raji Fashola had raided the
            Lagos treasury to the point of creating a financial oligarchy able to buy off
            murder. In tandem, both rogues had massively insinuated Muslims into the
            civil service and the judiciary, as default control lever.

            It is in that ISLAMIST context that
            AKIN AMBODE a non-politician civil servant was invited by Bola Tinubu to become
            the new Lagos state governor – after a ritual involving a pledge of fealty, and after
            Akin Ambode accepted to leave the Lagos APC party control under Bola Tinubu and
            the Muslim political camarilla in charge. Surrounded by these rabid Jihadist Muslims,
            Akin Ambode can hardly say he has a mind of his own left.

          • Celestine Onuoha

            No wonder! About two months ago I saw good business opportunity in Lagos state. I saw that
            there’s been no water supplied to the people by the Lagos state government since 3rd of April.
            I made my business contacts and got supplies of hydraulic systems agreed. I now wanted to sell
            the machines to the Lagos state government. My friend who lives in Festac Town told me that the
            only way I can get any business done in Lagos today is to look for Alhaji.

            I think he mentioned one or two Alhaji. One of them is Alhaji Tola Animashaun. He said any Alhaji i choose to meet may demand 10% of the contract amount. The Alhaji will give me a note to meet
            Alhaji Tunji Bello who is Secretary to the government. He said Alhaji Tunji Bello will give me another note to meet Alhaji Bola Tinubu, who will now give me another note to the Alhaji inside the Lagos
            state government.

            I was worried that If I add 10% on top of the contract at each stage it means Lagos state will pay
            double the actual amount of the machines. Is that government? Is that progress? My friend did not
            even mention anyone called Akin Ambode to me at all from beginning to the end of how i can get
            my business done in Lagos state today. That means Akin Ambode is just a mask of Bola Tinubu.

  • Rommel

    This is more realistic,the opulence without foundation found among Nigerians is incredible,about time people reflected true state of Nigeria

  • Otile

    Pictures don’t lie. See the woman in front row now looks like a bag of rice in that gray hijab. See how her toto is swollen. Who doubts that she is hiding some wraps of cocaine in her toto? The one behind her looks restless and cannot wait to be fucked in Medina. There is nothing religious in this trip, it’s all about Naria and kobo.

  • born Great

    I believe the pilgrims are saving there dollars to sell it in the black market when they get back and make good profit.

    • Otile

      Man, those Muslims are making a killing in forex exchange nowadays. Religious pilgrimage in Arabia my foot.

  • Al

    PT it’s high time you regulate comment on this forum most especially these relate to hate comment in religion, some religion bigot or rascal are using these place to cause disaffection all over, the hate comment doesn’t stop here, once it goes outside here is beyond our control. I expect everyone here be a Muslim faith or Christian to comment responsibily and discuss constructively that will benefit everyone.

  • EOkeh

    may God help Nigeria