Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, NCPC, has yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, NLRC, on Christian Pilgrimage Lottery Scheme.
Chairman of NCPC, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh stated that Christian Pilgrimage Lottery Scheme, CPLS, was not a secular activity but divine, saying that through the scheme, the commission could sustain itself and as well help the poor.
Okoh said that every good and perfect gift came from God, explaining that the casting of lot was biblical as he made reference to Acts Chapter 1 Verse 12-26.
The chairman, who is also the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, stated that Christian Pilgrimage Lottery Scheme was a revelation from God and since it had the backing of the Almighty, it would be successful.
He said that with the signing of the MoU the two coordinating agencies of government would be of beneficiary, saying that Christians who would participate in the lottery scheme would be touched by God when they visit the Holy Land on pilgrimage.
Speaking after the signing of the MoU, executive secretary of NCPC, Mr. John Kennedy Opara called on Christians in the country to key into the lottery scheme, saying it was biblical and not gambling as people speculate.
Opara described the signing of the MoU as historic, saying that the commission had taken the right step and the right path for the purpose of sustainability.
Opara said that the scheme would go a long way to reduce cost of pilgrimage, adding that the commission would sensitise Christian communities across the country and pass the message to churches on the need for them to be part of the scheme.
He said if things worked out as designed, the commission would not put more pressure on government for assistance.
“We don’t want to depend on government any longer; we can run this place without the support of the government.”
Director General of the NLRC, Adolphus Joe Ekpe said the MoU could only work if the regulator was capable, transparent and had the will to perform, stressing that if the scheme was operated in a right way it would lead to the development of NCPC.
Ekpe explained that it was the responsibility of the regulator to ensure that those who participate in the project were given equal opportunity, stating that the process should be transparent enough that whoever wins should be given the price.
Christian Pilgrimage Lottery Scheme would be test-run this year during the October/December pilgrimage exercise.

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