R-L Senate Committee Chairman on Foreign affairs, Senateor Ifeanyi Nwagu, ES NCPC, Mr. John Kennedy Opara, Mrs. Nnena Ukaeje House Committee Chairperson on foreign Affairs, Chairman NCPC, His Grace most Rev. Nickolas D. Okoh, Reps of the SGF and Senator Dalhatu Kuta Senate committee Chairman on inter Governmental Affairs during the 2013 bid opening by NCPC for 2013 pilgrimage exercise at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Mr. John Kennedy Opara has said that the NCPC would not compromise the comfort and lives of pilgrims, adding that the lives and comfort of every Nigerian pilgrim is paramount to the commission.

He disclosed this recently during the bids opening for Air Carriers for the 2013 airlift of Christian Pilgrimage to Israel, Rome and Greece at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja. Mr. Opara intimated that adverts were placed on the Nigeria dailies for bid opening on 22nd march, 2013 and only two Air carriers bided.

The NCPC helmsman assured Air Carriers that the Commission would do everything humanly possible to follow due process.  According to him, “if the bidders do not meet the requirements as published in the Newspapers, they would not be allowed to airlift Pilgrims for the 2013 pilgrimage exercise”.

R-L ES NCPC Mr. John Kennedy Opara, Chairman NCPC, His Grace Most Rev. Nickolas D. Okoh and the Senate Committee Chairman on Foreign Affairs, Senator Ifeanyi Nwagu exchanging Pleasantries During the 2013 bid opening by NCPC for air carriers at Transcorp Hilton for 2013 Pilgrimage exercise at Abuja.

Mr. Opara averred that Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority,( NCAA) and the Ministry of Aviation would ensures that only the Air Carrier that qualifies for the bid would be selected before the final approval by Mr. President

In his own remarks the Chairman of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission who is also the Primate of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh advised bidders to shun those who would come in disguised as NCPC representatives to ask for favour from them. He further advised the Technical evaluation Committee to ensure that the qualified bidders are chosen.

Mrs. Nnanne Ukaeje, House Committee Chairperson on Foreign Affairs, in her remarks stated that the bidding was in line with their oversight function and the procurement Act which is to ensure transparency.  According to her, “we want to ensure that the bidding process is transparent and we want to be part of it”.

Mrs. Ukaeje congratulated the Air Carriers that would be successful at the end of the exercise and admonished them to give the best treatment to pilgrims. In her own words, “we are concerned about how our pilgrims are treated and anyone who defaults would be held accountable and responsible”.

L-R NCPC Chairman His Grace Most Rev. Nickolas D. Okoh Conferring with the Executive Secretary of NCPC, Mr. John Kennedy Opara during the 2013 bid opening for Air Carriers for the 2013 pilgrimage exercise at Transcorp Hilton Abuja.

The Chairman Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs Sen. Ifeanyi Nwagu commended NCPC for the good work and the success the Commission has achieved. In his words, “the Success of Pilgrimage is the Success of Nigeria and the Commission”.

He advised the Technical Evaluation Committee to scrutinize any airline that would be selected and ensure that the aircrafts that would be used are fit to fly.

In his closing remarks, the Senate Committee Chairman on Inter Governmental Affairs, Senator Dahiru Kuta urged the bidders to be transparent in their dealings, according to him “once we are transparent in all we do, we would be able to move our country forward”.

The TAT Nigeria and Atlas Jet were the only Air Carriers that participated in the Bidding Exercise, TAT presented their cost prize of Flight from Nigeria- Israel at $1,790 and additional $420 to Rome and Greece while Atlas jet offered $1,750 from Nigeria – Israel and additional $240 to Rome and $200 to Greece.

The NCPC in house estimate is $1,400 to Israel and additional $300 to either Rome or Greece, this excludes the administrative charges.

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