The Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) said on Saturday that the commission would exploit the lottery and Personal Savings Scheme (PSS) to make pilgrimage affordable for Christians travelling to the Holy Land.

The Executive Secretary of the commission, Mr John-Kennedy Opara, made the disclosure on the sidelines of the commission’s three-day retreat, which commenced on Jan. 15 at Goshen City in Keffi, Nasarawa State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the retreat which has as its theme: “Moving in His Might,’’ also has “NCPC: New

Thinking, New Possibilities’’ as the commission’s slogan for 2016.

Opara told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the plan to explore the lottery scheme and PSS was to ensure a successful execution of the commission’s 2016 programme.

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NAN recalls that the NCPC in collaboration with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) had signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2015 for the Christian Pilgrimage Lottery Scheme.

Opara said that the lottery and the PSS, which was expected to commence this year, would be a trademark to promote Christianity and contribute to nation building.

“This year, there will be an upsurge because of the lottery scheme; as such every Christian should be able to buy a cheap ticket and get an opportunity to travel.

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“We have made pilgrimage affordable for every Christian through these two schemes.

“We are trusting God that many Christians will go to Israel at little or no cost because of the lottery scheme and the PSS.

“We are not depending on government but we will look at individuals that will be ready to sponsor people to go to Israel. Our number will be high this year by God’s grace.’’

He explained that the retreat would help the commission to fashion out the best way to undertake its activities for 2016.

“This retreat signifies the desire of the NCPC to work with God so it helps us to wait on Him to give us a sense of direction.

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“God is going to do what we cannot do for ourselves as a commission and this year, He has promised to be with us to help us change lives in this country.

“I am excited because God has promised to take us beyond our wildest imaginations; we are ready for the task ahead,’’ Opara said.

He assured that the commission would be more responsive to the needs and desires of stakeholders for a successful 2016 pilgrimage. (NAN)