The Executive Secretary Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, John Kennedy opera has disclosed that the Commission had commenced the Fourth batch of its ongoing pilgrimage operations to Israel, Rome and Greece. He disclosed this in Abuja recently while briefing newsmen in his office.
According to the NCPC boss, the Commission formally commenced the October-December Pilgrimage on 17th October, 2015 and successfully concluded the third batch of its operations on 24th November, 2015 and on the same day commenced the fourth batch of airlift of pilgrims to the Holy Land.
He also informed that the Committees on Foreign Affairs of both Senate and House of Representatives would be travelling next week to Israel to carry out their oversight functions.
The NCPC helmsman further stressed that the skills Acquisition programme of the Commission was on course as the programme would expose the pilgrims in the area of exportable Agriculture. He described Israel as a “nation blessed in human capital” and as such would want the pilgrims to tap the blessings from Israel.
Mr. Opara further stated that the focus of the Commission in this year’s pilgrimage exercise is on self sponsorship. He stressed that the central thrust of the Commission is to use pilgrimage as a tool for moral transformation and spiritual Rebirth. He also disclosed that the inaugural flight for intending pilgrims to Rome and Greece would be on 24th November, 2015.
He was hopeful that the pilgrimage this year would be one of the best ever organized by the Commission. The No1 Pilgrim Officer of the Federation also disclosed that the Commission’s Christian pilgrimage lottery Scheme would commence next year. He added that the scheme would add value to the efforts of the government and would be at no cost to the state or federal government.
On the issue of Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) with the State of Israel, the NCPC boss explained that the federal Government is determined to ensure its activation as soon as possible.
He posited that with the activation of the agreement signed in 2013, it would lessen the problem of having to travel for long hours to Israel and it would also boost the economy of both nations.