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The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian pilgrim Commission (NCPC), John Kennedy Opara was the guest speaker at a Retreat for Church workers organized by the Summit Bible Church, Abuja recently. The Executive Secretary used the platform to enlighten the youths of the Church about all the programmes of the Commission and the need for every Christian to key into it.

He explained that the commission was established by an Act of the National Assembly in 2007 and came into full operation in 2008. He expatiated that from a single pilgrimage programme in one year, the commission now runs four pilgrimage programmes in one year namely, Easter pilgrimage- March to April, Youth Pilgrimage which commenced last year and was held between June and July, family pilgrimage - August  and the main pilgrimage October- December

He disclosed that the Senior Pastor of the Church, Pastor Andy Osakwue would be the Spiritual Leader of this year’s Youth Pilgrimage to Israel. He also revealed that this year’s youth pilgrimage would feature praise night to be organized by the Commission.

The NCPC boss further hinted that the commission had envisaged that there would come at time when the federal and state government would begin to withdraw from pilgrimage activities and so the commission had therefore introduced win a trip to Israel to make pilgrimage affordable and accessible to all Nigerians.

He explained that every Christian is expected to buy a ticket at the cost of N500 which qualifies him or her to participate in the raffle draw. According to him, the lucky winners will travel to Israel with no cost to the Federal or State government.

He assured that as soon as the ticket is available and on sale every Christian would get to know about it through the Commission’s different communication platforms. He explained that the beauty of win a trip Israel is that money realized would be used to sponsor winners to Israel on holy pilgrimage. 

He also informed them about the skill acquisition programme and leadership training components that had been introduced into the youth pilgrimage as well as the impact the training now has on some pilgrims from Delta State. 

He explained that the Skill Acquisition and leadership Training had been expanded into modules to give interested Youths the opportunity to acquire Knowledge that would equip them for life. According to him, module one would last for one week which is the basic training, module two would last for two weeks while module three would last for one month. He mentioned that the skill acquisition programme of the commission has no additional cost to the pilgrimage package.

Mr. Opera equally informed the youths about the commission’s pilgrims’ Saving Scheme (PSS) which enables intending pilgrims to save instalmentally for pilgrimage at his or her own pace.

He informed that the commission intends to set up a kibutz this year in Nigeria where people own a common land and pool resources and expertise together for common goal of a shared value system, a system very successful and operational in Israel.

He also intimated that the commission had been given approval to develop and build a 15 storey edifice in the central business district called ‘Mini Israel’ to enable Christian enjoy the Holy Land experience here in Nigeria. He explained that the project will be built on build on Transfer (BOT) arrangement with the private sector. 

He affirmed that in 2017 he would ensure that NCPC becomes the best run government Agency in Nigeria.

The Senior Pastor of the Church, Pastor Andy Osakwue at the end of the sensitization talk by the NCPC boss promised to appoint a representative from the Church who would serve as a liaison between the church and NCPC to maximally benefit from the programmes of the Commission.

Members of the Management team of NCPC who accompanied the Executive Secretary on the sensitization visit includes the Deputy Director, Office of the Executive Secretary, Dr. Ifeoma Unachukwu , Head, Sensitization and Enlightenment Dept, Mr. Christian Udegbunam, Head of Operations Dept, Mr. Sunny Udeh, Head, Media Unit, Mr. Celestine Toruka and Head Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, Mr. Kunle Olesin.


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Saturday, 30 May 2020

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