Religion and ethnic politics are still the foundations upon which Nigeria is built.

In an economy where small scale business owners do not have the required forex to run their businesses, the Federal Government is planning to grant a concession of N200 to a United States dollar for Nigerian Muslims’ pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in 2017.

The recommendation was contained in a report which was considered by the Senate at the plenary on Thursday.

The Senate, had, on June 7, 2017, debated a motion titled, ‘The Extortion of Pilgrims by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria.

The chamber mandated the Committee on Foreign Affairs “to investigate the circumstances surrounding the present feeding regime and the exorbitant airfare fixed by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, with a view to exposing any sharp practice therein and make recommendation concerning its findings to the Senate within seven days.”

In the report, which was presented by Chairman of the committee, Monsurat Sunmonu, the panel advised that subsidy should be granted to pilgrims by the Federal Government.

As part of their findings, the panel said 98 per cent of the entire Hajj operations were dollar denominated, with only two per cent in naira.

The panel also stated that NAHCON did not unilaterally fix the airfare for the 2017 Hajj but engaged the services of experts from the aviation sector, specifically the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority.