The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, Rev. Tor Uja, says the commission will get over N500 million from the 2019 budget.
Uja said this on Sunday during a thanksgiving service of the Commission at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, the City of David, Abuja.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the budget allocation and for his thoughtfulness and support towards the commission.
The Executive secretary disclosed that the 2018 pilgrimage to Israel was one of the most successful since the inception of the Commission with a zero causality and zero abscondment.
He disclosed that for the first time the Israeli government allowed its security to take charge of the pilgrims, securing them from dangers.
He said: “Everything went well, medically there were no casualties, no one died or suffer from any injury.
“In terms of the flights, our plans were the best, we had a new plan, with its first class, second class, business class and the economy class.
“All our flights schedules were on time and the government commended the commission for using such an airline.”
He explained that the 2018 pilgrimage was successful as a result of security surveillance and the screening mechanism adopted by the commission, which brought defections to an end.
The cleric said the commission stringent measures discouraged pilgrims from absconding in 2018.
The executive secretary said that the Commission decided to give thanks to God for sustaining Christian pilgrimage, especially over the success recorded by the commission.
He affirmed that the Nigerian Church has remained the most vibrant church on the surface of the earth and should continue to grow.
The NCPC boss stated that throughout the years the Commission had preoccupied itself by building pilgrimage platforms to strengthen the entire process.
He said that over 400 pilgrims were refused visas, adding that the refusal took placed in Nigeria because the Israeli government had its own measures for issuing visas.
He said: “Some pilgrims were judged to be under-aged, Some of them were said not to sufficient business tie in Nigeria that would not compel them to come back to Nigeria.”
Uja, however, disagreed with the decisions taken by the lsraeli Embassy, which he said the commission has three months to appeal for the reversal.
ccording to him, some of the pilgrims that were wrongfully denied in 2018 would be represented for the Easter pilgrimage in 2019.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that every year, NCPC usually set aside a Sunday to thank God for His mercies and successes recorded in the preceding pilgrimage year.
This year’s thanksgiving service marks the beginning of NCPC month of pilgrimage celebration for 2018.
The executive secretary, his wife, Berry Uja, all management staff and staff of the Commission attended the thanksgiving service.