Nigerians on this year’s Hajj pilgrimage have cut down on spending following the fall in the Naira’s value, it has been reported.
A number of the pilgrims interviewed in the city of Medinah, Saudi Arabia said they have restricted their spending to only the basics. They said they now spend only on feeding and commuting within the city.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), some said they had brought along items such as toothpaste, soap, and cream, in order 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 only buy items such as food, because feeding is essential,” said Ali Adamu, a pilgrim.
Nigerian pilgrims were also reported to be patronising local food vendors who are mostly Nigerians resident in the Arab kingdom.
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.
Banks and bureaux de change in Saudi Arabia 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.
Another pilgrim 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.