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The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (NCPC), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim has commended the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) for its

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (NCPC), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim has commended the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) for its remarkable performance in the 2013 Christian Pilgrimage Exercise. He make the commendation recently in his office in Abuja during the submission of 2013 Christian Pilgrimage report by NCPC.

He commended the commission for the Presidential Pilgrimage last year in which Mr. President, 16 Governors four deputy Governors and some National Assembly members participated.

Senator Anyim further commended the Commission for the introduction of three Pilgrimage circles- the Easter pilgrimage, Family pilgrimage pilgrimage and the October/ December pilgrimage.

The congratulated members of Board of the Commission for the increased number of self sponsored Pilgrims recorded last year from the States, which was the consequent of the sensitization drive embarked upon by the Commission.

According to him, “I am particularly happy that private sponsored Pilgrims for last year was 4,000”.

He maintained that with the signing of BASA, the cost of undertaking pilgrimage would be drastically reduced this year. In the words of the SGF, “you have really contributed your quota very distinctly in the foreign policy of the country with the signing of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement with the State of Israel

Senator Anyim further stressed the need for the Board to instill discipline among its Tour operators. His words, “If we have to achieve perfection, there should not be room for indiscipline”. He added,” any Tour Agent that performs below standard should be blacklisted”. He emphasized that greater efforts should be geared towards self sponsorships of pilgrims, adding that no stone should be left unturned to have a wonderful hitch free pilgrimage exercise this year.

 The SGF also called on NCPC BOARD to ensure that Mr. President would also participate in this year’s pilgrimage exercise. His words: “To sustain the high level of participation last year, whatever the Commission did to make Mr. President participate last year should be replicated this year.

Earlier, the Chairman of NCPC, the Most Rev. Nicholas. D. Okoh who presented the 2013 Christian pilgrimage report to the SGF on behalf of the Board thanked Senator Anyim Pius Anyim for his support to the Commission.

He informed the SGF that the 2013 Christian pilgrimage report was a remarkable one, considering the fact that Mr. President, 16 Governors, deputy Governors and some National Assembly Members participated in the exercise.

According to him:” We are happy that such a level of interaction between Nigeria and Israel was achieved”. The Chairman further mentioned that the signing of Bilateral Air Service agreement (BASA) with the State of Israel was finally signed last year, adding that the Commission had contributed positively to the foreign policy of the country.

He hinted that the Commission was able to commence the Family Pilgrimage Exercise last year to give Families the opportunity to pray together in the Holy Land.

The Most Rev. Nicholas. Okoh who is also the Primate of church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, said that over 4,000 self sponsored Pilgrims embarked on Holy Pilgrimage last year which he attributed to the effect of the sensitization drive of the Executive Secretary of NCPC, Mr. John Kennedy Opara to 29 states of the Federation.

He informed the SGF that 15,314 Pilgrims were paid for from the States and that the Commission now runs three Pilgrimages in one year. He further mentioned that two additional Airports were used last year to ease the difficulties being faced by pilgrims from the states such as Enugu and Gombe airports.

The most Rev. Okoh also noted with excited the completion of the Pilgrims’ Reception by the Commission centre billed to be commission in February, 2014.

He affirmed the resolve of the Commission to continue to explore the expansion of the scope of Pilgrimage operation to other Holy sites in the world in accordance with the mandate of the Commission.

His words:” We are also extending our research to other parts of the world where rich spiritual heritage can be explored”.

The Chairman was accompanied to the SGF Office for the submission of the 2013 Christian Pilgrimage report by the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. John Kennedy Opara and other Board Members.

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Tuesday, 18 February 2020

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