President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the exchange rate N160 to $1 for Christian Pilgrims to this year’s pilgrimage.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christians Pilgrims Commission, John Kennedy Opara disclosed this to State House Correspondents shortly after meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He was at the Villa to brief the President on the activities of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission.
Speaking on the briefing he made Opara said, “I had to tell him where we are and how we started the commission and where we are today and our prayers and I want to say that the President was very happy with the commission and he said the commission have done very well.
“As you are aware he has approved $1 to N160 for the conventional exchange rate for this pilgrimage operation and he also agreed that he will continue to encourage us particularly as we drive to ensure self sustenance, to make sure that the pilgrims are able to pay for the pilgrimages removing government sponsorship.
“This is a journey and we are sure that we are going to succeed. So he was very happy with the entire process
“We are praying that God will help us to be a source of strength to Mr. President, so that the Federal government and States will spend the
necessary resources on other things while the pilgrimage is self funding as time goes on.”
He outlined the cost of the pilgrimage per person, saying ?”We are already running four pilgrimages in one year. The first is the Easter pilgrimage which has passed, the Youth Pilgrimage which we termed operation catch them young, the family pilgrimage and the
“For those going to Israel for the eleven days trip it is N379,840 and for the youth pilgrimage it is going to cost N357,000.
“The beauty of what we are doing is that we have added skill acquisition in order words people who go on pilgrimage can undergo the skill acquisition programme organised by the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission and ministry of agriculture Israel to train our
people in the area of agriculture.
“And also we are introducing the pilgrimage pilot lottery scheme that will enable people who are lucky to be able to go on this trip without much dependence on the state and the Federal Government?”, he said.