Pilgrimage: Ambode Assures NCPC Of Support
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has assured the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) that the state government will improve its support to the body to ensure that more Christians from the state go on pilgrimage to holy lands.
This is just as he said that pilgrimage is a life changing experience worthy of performing as it fulfills an individual’s christian life.
Ambode gave this assurance when he received the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, NCPC, Mr. John Kennedy Opara and his team, who were on a sensitisation visit to Lagos State.
According to him, “We will not leave any stone unturned to ensure that we support you and the board here.”
The governor told Opara and his sensitisation team that the state would improve his support for pilgrimage to increase the number of Christian pilgrims going for pilgrimage from the state.
He commended NCPC and its leadership for the manner in which they have been organising Christian pilgrimages over the years, urging them to continue to maintain that standard.
He disclosed that very soon the state would constitute its Christian Pilgrim Welfare Board (CPWB) to ensure that Lagosians benefit from the tremendous innovations of the NCPC in the 2015 pilgrimage exercise.
The governor stated that Lagos State had been a supportive partner of the NCPC over the years, adding that the commission had brought much value to the state through its pilgrimage programmes.
On his part, Opara commended the governor for being a man of vision and for being focused on the job he was elected to do.
“Your commitment is something people outside admire so much. You are indeed a leader with very rare qualities,” Opara said.
The NCPC boss informed Ambode about the four pilgrimage programmes the commission manages annually.
He listed the programmes to include: the Easter pilgrimage, the youth pilgrimage launched in July, which was designed to catch them young, the family pilgrimage and the pilgrimage proper, which usually holds between October and December every year.
He also disclosed that skill acquisition programme had been introduced to pilgrims’ activities while in the Holy Lands, adding that the essence of the introducing the skill acquisition was to empower the Nigerian youths to be self reliant.
Opara called on Governor Ambode to partner with the commission to further empower the youths in the state, adding that the commission had expanded the scope of pilgrimage to Greece and Rome over the years and that NCPC would continue to add value to the entire pilgrimage programme.
The NCPC boss stated that in view of the harsh economic situation in the country, occasioned by the drop in global oil prices, the commission was collaborating with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission to commence a Christian Pilgrimage lottery Scheme to enable more Christians to embark on holy pilgrimage with little or no cost, especially, now that the commission strives towards self sustenance.
He urged the governor, and other kind and spirited Lagosians to collaborate with NCPC to sponsor Christians who are spiritually rich, but materially poor to participate in the Lottery Scheme.