The money put on pilgrimage not a waste – Rev. Nicholas Okoh

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CALEB AYANSINA
ABUJA – SENATE President, Senator David Mark has called on the public institutions to ensure judicious use of resources at their disposal for efficient service delivery.

Mark, who made the call at the commissioning of the Pilgrims Reception Centre, in Abuja, noted that accountability and prudence were not negotiable, telling Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to learn from Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC).

“I am very impressed that within a financial year, NCPC was able to get what they required and the money is utilized and the project completed on time. I think other agencies should learn from them,” he said.

Mark commended the NCPC for taking pilgrimage to next level, noting that people perceived pilgrimage as a ‘jamboree’ and a means of running away from country.

He said; “Pilgrimage used to be regarded as jamboree, people want to go to Israel with one box and come back with excess luggage.

“Pilgrimage in some years back was taken as opportunity for people who want to run out of this country, but the situation is no longer like that. So, we should thank the NCPC for job well done.”

The Chairman of NCPC and Primate of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh said there is value in pilgrimage as it brings about the spiritual rejuvenation of the people, adding that when people are transformed, the society in turn will be transformed.

According to him “Pilgrimage has a lot to offer if it is properly managed, this is why the commission is de-emphasizing on those who want to take pilgrimage as just a trip. The money put on pilgrimage is not a waste. Although there are some bad eggs, who cannot justify the expenses.”

Okoh pleaded with the people to show more understanding with the NCPC, noting that with the commissioning of the centre, “the work will be more efficient.”

In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of NCPC, Mr John Kennedy Opara said “the Christian Pilgrims reception Centre was constructed to serve as accommodation for pilgrims and others, particularly during airlift operation, since we now run a three phase pilgrimage programme.

“The objective of the project is to increase the internally generated revenue and reposition the commission towards self-sustenance capacities in line with the federal government policy of gradual withdrawal of funding pilgrimage activities.”

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