By Aluta News
December 25, 2021
NCPC proposes scheme for intending pilgrim
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, (NCPC) Rev. Yakubu Pam, has disclosed that the Commission plans to unfold a scheme that would enable intending Pilgrims to save money and sponsor themselves .
Pam made this known on Friday in Lagos during an interactive session with the media.
He said that efforts were been made for the success of the proposed scheme .
According to him,the Commission wants to ensure that the church takes over the sponsorship of Christian pilgrimage.
Pam also said efforts had been made to many states in the country to build relationships with Christian fathers, church groups and the Governors to sponsor pilgrims.
The Executive Secretary also said that the Commission had already raised about 3000 of the expected figures from the states.
He explained that visit to the states would be continuous and very important for the Pilgrimage process.
Pam, said that the Commission plans to raise 10,000 pilgrims for the 2021 Pilgrimage exercise.
The exercise would be to Israel ,Jordan and Greece scheduled for February, 2022.
The NCPC boss observed with dismay that the pilgrims spirit is dying in the South East.
“The South East zone that is predominantly Christians scored the least on sponsorship of Christian pilgrims, followed by South West zone”, he said.
Rev Pam commended the Enugu state Governor with Hon . Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and his Lagos state counterpart, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu for sponsorship of many Christian on pilgrimage.
He said expressed happiness that the Governor of Ebonyi had promised to sponsor about 300 pilgrims, Imo 500 and Lagos 300.
Rev Pam further stated that he had been involved in different peace missions to the South East to intervene on the issue of IPOB and the End SARS Protest in Lagos.
The NCPC boss said he came on board with a 6 point agenda in fighting corruption in the commission, rebuilding relationships with the governors and Christian fathers.
He said to fight corruption the commission, had made the procurement process clean by ensuring things like returning travel allowances when he was supposed to travel but could not make it.
He disclosed further that Jordan has been added into the Christian pilgrimage package.
He said the NCPC has put up a strategy to ensure there was zero abscondment of pilgrims.
Rev Pam said part of the strategy was also to peg the age limit of intending pilgrims to 40.
He said the sites approved based on NCPC Act include, Israel, Rome, Jordan and Greece.
Rev Pam said Israel would be opened for pilgrimage in January 2022, while the commission is preparing for February to travel to the holy land.
The NCPC boss explained that the commission was working on getting the issue of direct flight sorted out.
He explained that Israel came up with a proposal that their security personnel must be in any flight emanating from Nigeria to Israel for security reasons which the commission rejected.
He said the agreed plan is for the Israeli security operatives to come to Nigeria to inspect the facilities and security at the Nigerian airports and give their approval.
Rev. Pam said the issue was not which airline operates direct flight to Israel but in sorting out the modalities that would make the direct flight possible.
He intimated that the NCPC was currently building a 12 storey building in the Central Business District in Abuja which it started from ground zero , and when completed it would be beneficial to the Pilgrims and staff .
The Executive secretary explained why the commission was not considering including local religious sites in Nigeria on its package, or recognising them for pilgrimage,
Pam pointed out that based on the NCPC Act, the body can only embark on pilgrimages to sites connected with Jesus Christ’s missionary journey on earth and that of other notable prophets and patriarchs.
He added that these sites can only be accommodated when the NCPC Act is amended and the sites verified