The Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, NCPC plans to partner with the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS in its fight to flush out illegal pilgrimage operators in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole.
The latest move by the commission to check the illegal pilgrimage bodies with trails of illicit activities that have brought bad image to the country was communicated in a press statement issued by Celestine Toruka, Head of Media and Public Relations of the Commission.
In this direction,the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Rev Dr Yakubu Pam paid a courtesy visit to the Comptroller Nigeria Immigration Service, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos Mrs Kemi Nandap on 19th May, 2022 to seek the collaboration of the Service in flushing out charlatans in the affairs of pilgrimage operation in Nigeria.
The NCPC boss who was in Lagos with his delegation to meet with the Airport management and inspected facilities at the airport for the 2021 main pilgrimage exercise to Israel, Jordan and Rome.
He told the Immigration boss that the Commission seriously frowns at what is happening in the Lagos axis where unlicensed pilgrimage operators take people to the Holy land without recourse to the Commission.
He clarified that the NCPC 2007 establishment Act of Parliament, empowers it to licence, renew and regulate all Christian pilgrimage activities in Nigeria.
The NCPC helmsman further described the activities of the unregistered operators in the pilgrimage sub sector as ” illegal, it amounts to human trafficking,” he said.
Rev Pam expressed displeasure at the rate people use the platform of these illegal bodies who did not register with the Commission to abscond from the country under the guise of pilgrimage.
He stressed that abscondment under any reason is anti pilgrimage and that the Commission would stop at nothing to discourage and put an end to it as it tarnishes the image of the country.
Speaking,the Comptroller Nigeria Immigration Service Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos Mrs Kemi Nandap promised to collaborate with the Commission by beaming the search light on the activities of illegal pilgrimage operators in Lagos so that they can no longer hide under pilgrimage to facilitate the excape of persons out of the country.
She advised that the Commission should avail the Service the list of all registered and licensed pilgrimage operators with NCPC and also the screened list of all intending pilgrims with the pilgrimage operators so that the Immigration officers would be able to carry out due diligence on them frequently.
She thanked the NCPC boss for his visit and for the renewed partnership which would help both organizations to pursue this noble objective.
Head Media and Public Relations
20th May, 2022