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Head Office

Policy

Groundhandler Advance

Greetings

We bring you greetings of love in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Savior, Healer, Lord and soon coming King of Kings. He is able to save to the uttermost all those who come to him (Heb. 7:25). He died in order to break all barriers and bring all persons who believe to God.  May you find true peace and life in Him.  Even so, Amen.

Thank you for working with NCPC all these years and for serving Nigeria Christian Pilgrims so well by conducting them faithfully during pilgrimage. It has been a rewarding experience working with you, and we look forward to a more engaging relationship in the coming years.

May God Almighty bless and equip you for the more challenging tasks of pilgrimage that lie ahead.

Introduction

This Communication Channel has been developed in order to provide a more stable line of shared templates for the management of Nigerian pilgrims in their quest to visit Holy sites in Israel, Greece, Rome and other parts of the world.
This bridge will be provided quarterly in order to note observations and show which way we ought to go towards improving services to Nigeria and her numerous pilgrims.

  1. Appreciation
We note with gladness that groundhandler services to Nigeria’s pilgrims have improved significantly. Hotels are quite standard, buses are new and efficient, and souvenirs have assumed a better quality with Nigeria’s insignia on them. Tour Guides have been provided who have good understanding of the English Language; sites, Bible history, geography as well as general social history of the land called Israel and its many undulating topography and human activity.
 
  1. Pilgrimage, Not Tourism
Pilgrims are well received at the airport, properly cleared, given refreshments, and taken to the hotels very quickly. This is commendable and noteworthy, and should be sustained.
 
The food has been well appreciated by pilgrims, especially the introduction of spicy food Nigeriana on special days. The CEOs of tour companies have always been on ground to supervise operations, handle complaints, and correct anomalies.
 
  1. Nigeria as Foremost Pilgrimage Nation
Nigeria is so far the only nation in the world with a nationally organized pilgrimage programme, backed by law and funded by government. Nigerian pilgrims should be treated as government as well as national representatives who are on pilgrimage on the backing of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
NCPC is the only authority mandated by government to coordinate, supervise and define pilgrimage operations in Nigeria. Be careful not to deal with false agents who may mislead you to your hurt.
 
  1. Groundhandler Accreditation
In order to ensure standards throughout effective partnerships and monitoring, we have decided that all Groundhandlers who must do business with Nigeria should be accredited by NCPC. This requires filling the necessary form and paying a defined fee.
 
NCPC would also visit the offices of the Groundhandlers to ensure that they are on ground and that they possess what they say they possess. This certification covers all activities of pilgrimage, including NCPC, CPOs and Churches. This certification covers groundhandler to manage Nigerian pilgrims and to bid when advertisements are made for government pilgrims.
 
  1. Engagement with CPOs
All CPOs (Christian Pilgrimage Operators) and Churches that engage in pilgrimage are expected to be registered with NCPC. Each is also expected to present a pilgrimage approval letter (which Groundhandlers must insist on having a copy) before they are received.
No groundhandler should work with an illegal, unregistered and uncleared group.
 
  1. Screening of All Pilgrims
Groundhandlers should ensure that all prilgrims that they receive have been screened by NCPC. Each CPO should produce a signed list from NCPC before such a group is accepted. This is to avoid the scourge of abscondment, the bad name and financial losses it gives to everyone involved with pilgrimage activities.
 
  1. Relationship with States
NCPC and Stated of Nigeria (36 plus Abuja) all work together for pilgrimage. A state is not a CPO, so it cannot work on its own with a groundhandler.
 
States can nominate a Groundhandler of choice but only during the national pilgrimages available. No Groundhandler is big enough to handle a state on its own.
 
All groundhandlers are to respectfully work with State officials in proper agreement and cooperation, equally giving respect to State pilgrims.
 
  1. Production of Nigerian Souvenirs
All souvenirs for Nigeroan pilgrims should be produced in Nigeria and should reflect Nigeria’s colours of Green-White-Green with NIGERIA Pilgrims boldly inscribed on it. This includes bags, T-shirts, caps or hats, as well as other materials.
 
  1. Observations
a. Groundhandlers need to ensure that Tour Guides (TGs) are to a large extent, Christians, and that they understand the reason why Nigerian pilgrims are in Israel. Some TGs are in the habit of dismissing Biblical claims owing to their beliefs, which are not the reason we are there.

b. Foreign and Nigerian Tour Guides Partnership
We need to develop a working partnership between your Tour Guides and Nigerian Pilgrimage Leaders. This will help provide more accurate, spiritual and developmental information that will enhance deeper understanding of the pilgrimage activity by pilgrims, enabling them to pray more purposefully.

c. Sites Activity

Reasonable time should be provided for prayers and site inspection by pilgrims so that they come away from each site fulfilled. Non-Christian and non-Biblical relevant sites like the “Bahai Temple” should be removed from the programme.

d. Hotel Environment
Hotels used should have prayer places so that pilgrims can pray together, especially evenings and mornings. Hotels must also be safe and well protected. You would be required to also show our officials all the hotel exit points so that proper surveillance can be mounted at them all.
 
  1. Pilgrims Safety
We must commend all Groundhandlers for safety recorded in all our pilgrimage activities. It needs to be repeated that GHs should still ensure that Nigerian pilgrims are steered towards safe areas and not exposed to physical harm or danger of any kind.
Despite the programmes drawn for the exercise, you should note flashpoints and avoid them for the sake of our pilgrims and relationships as nations.
 
  1. Pilgrimage Programmes and Booklets
We expect a properly printed booklet of the entire pilgrimage exercise which should be in the hands of each pilgrim upon arrival. Pieces of paper would no longer be accepted.
The programme booklet should guide on the processes, direction and locations to be visited by pilgrims with time allotment given to each activity. While minor changes will be permitted, the programme should run its course.
 
  1. Provision of Local (Nigerian) Food to Pilgrims
The provision of local foods at some point in the pilgrimage programme helps to lift the spirit of pilgrims after several days in foreign land. Minimum of two and maximum of three Nigerian means would do well to make pilgrims feel at home and enjoy the pilgrimage much more.
 
Groundhandlers are to liaise with officials of the NCPC in order to make proper arrangement for this, especially in the movement of the food items and their accompanying spices and condiments from Nigeria.
Core must be taken not to violate local Israeli laws of politics, religion and general society.
 
  1. Abscondment Prevention
Groundhandlers must knoe that there is a shared responsibility of managing pilgrims once they arrive destination between GHs and the NCPC. GHs must do all in their power to avoid pilgrims slipping away and not coming back with the group. Such steps include:
  • Reporting suspicious movements and activities of pilgrims.
  • Preventing or reporting undesired interaction of pilgrims with local persons in Israel.
  • Noting and reporting pilgrims who show little or no interest in the pilgrimage programmes, and
  • Providing information about local (Israeli) syndicates that aid pilgrims to abscond.
  • Working closely with NCPC Officials in guiding, managing and protecting pilgrims as well as other areas of operation.
NCPC would expect a full report of abscondments that take place during any pilgrimage activity, be it with NCPC organized pilgrimage or with the CPOs.

We would equally expect full report concerning residents and syndicates in Israel that seek to lure pilgrims to remain or escape in Israel.

A report should be provided of officials who seek to, or actually cooperate with persons who plan to remain in Israel, including officials.

A report concerning CPOs should be forwarded, especially of those who perform poorly or suspiciously and allow pilgrims to escape from the group.

It should be a pride to Groundhandlers that the names and numbers they received should be the same that they see-off at the airport at the end of the exercise.

a. NCPC Responsibility

i. NCPC would do its additional homework of screening pilgrims diligently to ensure that only proper candidates are allowed to take part in the pilgrimage process and programme.

ii. NCPC would equally seek to identify and stamp out syndicates that operate both in Nigeria and Israel for this purpose.
iii.  NCPC would provide additional staff and security personnel to monitor, manage and also guide the pilgrims appropriately.

iv. NCPC would take the responsibility of deporting anyone who shows the slightest tendency of seeking to slip into and stay in Israel during pilgrimage.

14. Dialogue
Groundhandlers need to ensure that there is continuing dialogue between them and Israeli authorities on one hand, and between them and NCPC leadership on another. While NCPC will continue to dialogue with the authorities in Israel, we expect each groundhandler to do more by creating linkages that will make our work easier and better.

  1. Financial Guarantees
We expect that individual Groundhandlers as well as the association should help address this issue as it could easily become an impediment to successful pilgrimage activities. A bilateral diplomatic solution could be found, seeing Nigeria’s frontline position in pilgrimage visit over the years.
There must be room for Nigeria’s pilgrimage history, using today’s challenges to build a greater relationship for tomorrow. Christian pilgrimage should be encouraged by all means. We would like this issue to be sorted out soon.

  1. 2018 and Beyond
We look forward to a glorious year which houses many pilgrimages in our bouquet. They include;
  • Easter Pilgrimage             -               April /May
  • Women Pilgrimage           -               May/June
  • Youth Pilgrimage             -               July/August
  • Farmers’ Pilgrimage         -               August

  • Traditional Pilgrimage      -               September

  • Church Leaders and
    Pastors Pilgrimage          -                September/October.
  • Nigeria Leadership Pilgrimage -         October
  • General Pilgrimage        -                  November/December
  • Family Pilgrimage at Christmas -        December
 
Note: Some of these dates may change due to visa issues. Let’s make pilgrimage sweet, rewarding, spiritual and developmental.
Join us to build!
 
Shalom! Elolohe Israel
 
 
Uja Tor Uja
Executive Secretary
© Copyright 2018 Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission. All Rights Reserved.