The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Tor Uja, has called on the Federal Government to strengthen local airlines in the country to become a global business sector.
Uja made the call at the closing ceremony of the conference of Pilgrimage and Managers of Nigeria, held on Friday at the Goshen City in Nasarawa State.
The focus of the conference was ``Pilgrimage, the Church and Nigeria”.
He said that adequate empowerment would strengthen and give the local airlines an enhanced leverage for them to compete with other airlines globally.
``I am optimistic that if the Federal Government looks into the aviation sector and strengthen it and build up the capacity of the local airlines, it will help the operation of activities from Nigeria.
``The airline operators will be able to compete and not left out in the business.
``If adequately empowered, many of the local airlines will serve as carriers for the massive number of people that travel on pilgrimages annually,’’ he said.
The secretary urged indigenous airline operators to lift up their games and operate flights to Jerusalem, saying it would help to strengthen Nigeria’s economy, especially in areas of direct flights.
``If we have direct flights, there will not be problem of stopover which causes delay in flight movement most times.
``The foreign airlines operating in Nigeria have to go to their home country before proceeding to another country,’’ he said.
Uja said that NCPC had dialogued with embassy officials of countries offering pilgrim services to the commission to ensure that obtaining visa was made easy.
``We have dialogued with Israel, Rome, Greece, Turkey and other countries offering pilgrim services to the commission for easy issuing of visa,’’ he said.
He promised that soon, pilgrimage would be made easy, interesting and attractive with adequate preparations made.