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08th May, 2019.
Executive Secretary, Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Uja Tor Uja (r) been welcome by the Airport Regional General Manager South South, South East and Airport Manager Port Harcourt Airport, Akinbinu Felix during the Exe. Sec. courtesy visit to the Authorities of Port Harcourt International Airport recently.


The Executive Secretary of Nigerians Christians Pilgrims Commissions (NCPC), Uja Tor Uja has described the newly constructed Port Harcourt International airport terminal as the best and cleanest in the world.

He gave the the commendation on Monday in Port Harcourt during a meeting with the management of Federal Airports Authority of Nigerians (FAAN).

Uja who was conducted round the facilities of the terminal of the airport by the Airport Manager and Regional General Manager South South/ South East, Akinbinu Felix.

The visit which was at the instance of the airlifting of Easter pilgrimage which will commence in 2nd June 2019 with the formal flag off in Abuja.

According to him "It is part of our colonial heritage that we must destroy that people think it is abroad that things happens. So I like what I see I think Port Harcourt airport is one of the cleanest in the world and I have seen many airports in the world. This is one of the cleanest in the world and I want us to maintain that record".

He urged the airport officials to maintain a minimum standard and not to compromise quality adding that airport is a gateway to the world for any country.

His words "Usually when things fail it is we the officers on ground that make them fail but you as a professional if you insist that this is a minimum standard everybody have to do that minimum standard and especially when knowing that this is the gateway to the world. From here we go to the world and from here we receive the world", he stated.

Tor stressed that pilgrims serve as ambassador of Nigeria outside the country noting that there is need for them to go away with good picture of Nigeria in their minds.

"I am proud of this airport and one thing we need to do is that I have seen the summary of the core value FAAN has given to itself; safety, security and comfort. I think that is a major statement. I will like to request we engrave that in the mind of all our staff and also help us put that in the mind of our pilgrims".

He said that no country in the world has organised pilgrimage as Nigeria. He noted that Ghana and two other countries have written to the commission to understudy the processes and procedures of operation of successful pilgrimage.

The Executive Secretary added that the construction of Port Harcourt International terminal is an announcement that Nigeria has come of age and there is need to do everything possible to keep and maintain the standard it has attained.

His words "I want to congratulate you for having the privilege of superintendent this airport. I am hoping that you will do enough advocacy to have this replicated in Enugu because this country need a minimum of ten A Grade airports for each to function appropriately and spread across the entire nation".

He appealed to the management of FAAN to create a section for medical screening to enable the commission determine pilgrims with medical challenges. He admitted that some pilgrims are not medically fit and there is need to double check their health status to avoid emergency situation.

While calling on the airport security operatives to be vigilant and assist in fishing out those who are fond of infiltrating pilgrims with drugs at the airports.

According to him "You have seen recently that there are some cabals working to infiltrate the pilgrimage industry with drugs and even money laundering activities. As much as possible NCPC has been fighting this thing and we are winning the war but we will like you to eliminate cabals at the airports and the environment of the pilgrims".

He called on well meaning Nigerians to sponsor people for pilgrimage and development of infrastructures for the country to achieve a faster template of development instead of dumping the money in another country.

While responding, Akinbinu Felix assured the commission that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigerians (FAAN) will ensure that public address system and security will be put in place before the commencement of the airlift of the pilgrims.

"As per security, safety and comfort, I am sure this airport is being prepared for certification. Our safety measure has been heightened and the same with security. Whatever that we need to do more between now and then we will do, Akinbinu assured.

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