Delta State government has revealed plans to airlift pilgrims from the Asaba International Airport, located in the state capital, to the holy lands overseas.
Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State said his administration would collaborate with the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) to ensure that there were no hitches in the airlifting of the pilgrims, stating that neigbouring states would also be allowed to make use of the airport to travel on pilgrimages.
Uduaghan made the disclosure in Warri today, Tuesday, August 27, 2013, when a team of the NCPC led by its Executive Secretary, Revd. John Kennedy Opara, paid him a courtesy visit, the Governor observed that the use of the Asaba International Airport to airlift pilgrims is a welcome development.
While lauding the NCPC for living up to expectations with recorded successes as pilgrims from Delta State to the different holy lands do not abscond but use such trips for spiritual and moral reasons, the governor revealed that his administration has mapped out programs for pilgrims to also study the agriculture programme of the places like Israel during pilgrimage.
“We have introduced a system where Deltans are allowed to study the nature of agriculture of the people of Israel while on pilgrimage, so, it is not only for spiritual benefit. Nigeria has more fertile land than Israel but the agriculture sector of that country is thriving more.”
He urged the NCPC to have a laid-down procedure for intending pilgrims who wished to sponsor themselves, to do so with ease, assuring that the state government would meet up with its quota of sending 1, 500 pilgrims to the holy land this year.
The NCPC Executive Secretary, Revd. Opara lauded Governor Uduaghan for the massive development in Delta State, confirming that 1, 500 slots have been allocated to Delta State for the next pilgrimage, stating that plans were on for the pilgrims to be airlifted from the Asaba International Airport.
Recall that the Minister of Aviation, Mrs Stella Oduah had in July last year expressed satisfaction with the high standard of facilities at the Asaba International Airport, noting that the airport met global specification and standard.
Oduah remarked, while on an inspection visit to the airport in Asaba that, “I am very very excited over this airport. It is very very wonderful and has met global standard”.