Mr David Ishola, Secretary to the board, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the exchange rate of the Naira to the dollar was a major determinant of the cost of pilgrimage.
He said, “the exchange rate of Naira to the dollar is a major determinant of the cost of pilgrimage.
“This means that this year, pilgrimage’s cost will be higher and very few will be able to afford going on self-sponsored pilgrimage unless the Naira appreciates in value’’.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
He appealed to the government not to discontinue the sponsorship of pilgrimage.
“Government’s sponsorship of holy pilgrimages helps to support those who can’t afford it,’’ he said.
Ishola said that pilgrimage was important to the Christian faith.
“Pilgrimage is walking in the footsteps of Jesus Christ; it strengthens our faith and makes the bible to become real.
“It is a life experience and anybody who goes there is transformed positively.
“The multiplier effect is enormous; if you have been there you are able to tell the story and impact the lives of people around you positively,’’ he said.
The secretary said that the minimum age for going on pilgrimage was 30 years.
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According to Ishola, the board is responsible for organising a hitch-free pilgrimage to the holy land and to ensure the welfare and conveyance of the pilgrims to historical places in the bible.
“Pilgrimage used to be once in a year; a general one between October and December.
“However, recently there is Easter Pilgrimage and family pilgrimage between March and April and between July and August respectively,’’ he said. (NAN)