The Federal Government is concluding the Bilateral Air Service Agreements between Nigeria and Israel, which will birth the commencement of direct flights from Nigeria to the Middle East nation before the next Christian pilgrimage scheduled for October this year.
When this is in place, it is expected that the nine hours in-flight travelling time to Israel will be reduced to about six hours under the arrangement. The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, Mr. John Opara, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Olajide Oshundun, on Monday, stated this in Abuja, while welcoming back the first batch of Christian pilgrims from Benue and the Federal Capital Territory,who had gone on the 2013 Easter pilgrimage to Israel.
He expressed excitement that the 378 Pilgrims, who left the country on February 28, returned safely without any record of death and absondment during the exercise. Opara used the occasion to assure other intending pilgrims across the six geo-political zones that they would be airlifted from the designated airports in their zones during the exercise.
According to him, pilgrims should be agents of change and transformation. He urged them to use the experience of their encounter to move Nigeria forward and to a greater height. He said, “The aim of our pilgrimage is to morally and spiritually transform Nigerians. If pilgrims come back morally and spiritually transformed, they will, in turn, transform their families and the people that come in contact with them. Through this, the entire country will become transformed in no distant time.
“Nigeria is committed to maintaining a cordial relationship with other countries. The Minister of Aviation is working hard to ensure that the Bilateral Air Service Agreement between Nigeria and the state of Israel is concluded before the October pilgrimage exercise.”