The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission, NCPC, Rev. Yakubu Pam has disclosed that eight international Airports will be used for the 2020 general pilgrimage exercise.
Rev. Pam gave the hints on Friday at the media parley organised for members of the press in Abuja at the commission’s national Headquarters.
The NCPC boss stated that the commission will soon flag off the inspection of designated international Airports across the country to ascertain their readiness for this year’s pilgrimage operations.
He disclosed that the 2020 Medical Orientation Programme for the Federal Medical Committee and the Federal Medical team comprises of medical Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses and Medical Laboratory Scientists is ongoing at Keffi road in Nasarawa state.
Rev. Pam, who said the NCPC will work with the COVID-19 protocals of the Presidential Task Force and that of the host countries, stressed that the commission will not compromise the health of the pilgrims during the pilgrimage exercise.
Speaking on the airlift arrangment, the Executive Secretary said that plans are in the pipeline by the Federal Government to ensure that the Bilateral Air Service Agreement between Nigeria and Israel is activated so that Nigerian Airlines can airlift pilgrims directly from Nigeria to the state of Israel.
According to him, “The Federal Government has also granted the commission the express approval to participate in the 2020 general pilgrimage exercise to Israel, Rome and Greece”
The NCPC boss asserted that the commission’s plans to introduce three days mandatory orientation programme for intending pilgrims in the state before airlift, will afford the intending pilgrims the opportunity to understand the real essence of the pilgrimage.
“This would deemphasize abscondment by making them have no option than to come back after their pilgrimage exercise to join in nation building.
“The Commission is currently training Staff Leadership Capacity Building in Pilgrimage Screening in all the six zonal offices of the commission to equip them on the new screening template and screening capability.
“Moreso, the commission has come up with a mechanism to discourage abscondment during pilgrimage by introducing stringent screening measures and also ensuring that guarantors are held liable for any pilgrim who absconds while in the Holy Land”
Rev. Pam, while appreciating the supports of the Abuja journalists, said that the media will continue to be their strategic partners in promoting Christian pilgrimage.
He further stated that as partners in progress, the commission will ensure that all the pilgrimage activities will be adequately covered and reported accordingly.
“I want to thank you all immensely for your support these few months of my leadership at NCPC. I am also looking forward to a more robust working relationship with you” he said.