Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission, NCPC, has said it would soon flag off the inspection of designated international airports across the country to ascertain its readiness for this year’s pilgrimage operations.

Speaking at the weekend during a media parley organised for members of the press in Abuja, the executive secretary, Rev. Yakubu Pam, said the inspection would be carried out in about eight international airports that would be used for the 2020 pilgrimage exercise.

Pam said plans were on the way by the federal government to ensure that Bilateral Air Service Agreement between Nigeria and Israel was activated so that Nigerian airlines could airlift pilgrims direct to the state of Israel.

The NCPC boss was optimistic that the first pilgrimage (2020) he will organise would be the best and hitch-free pilgrimage so far.

He said the commission will introduce three days mandatory orientation programme for intending pilgrims in the states before airlift, explaining that it would afford the intending pilgrims the opportunity to understand the real essence of pilgrimage and inculcate in them the spirit of patriotism and nationhood.

Pam also said that for the success of the pilgrimage exercise, the NCPC has reintroduced a special one day prayer and fasting session in Jerusalem for Nigerian Pilgrims and Christian Public Office holders called ‘A day with Jesus.’

He explained that the commission had 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.

Pam appreciated journalists for timely reportage, promising that the commission and media will continue to partner in promoting Christian pilgrimage.