Israeli authorities have agreed to look into the possibility of procuring a three-month group visa for Nigerian Pilgrims that would cover the pilgrimage period as against the two-week visa policy.
This was disclosed by Rev. Yakubu Pam, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC).
Rev. Pam also stressed that Nigerians visiting Israel for pilgrimage should be treated with respect and dignity like pilgrims from other countries.
The Executive Secretary met with the State Pilgrimage Leaders and Managers, comprising the State Chairmen and Secretaries of State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Boards and FCT, to chart a new course for the 2021 general pilgrimage to Israel, Jordan and Rome on Friday in Abuja.
He recently visited the State of Israel, met with the Israeli Minister of Tourism as well as with the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria to finalize details of the new visa regime.
The NCPC Chief Executive also informed the Pilgrimage leaders that the Israeli authorities are favorably disposed to commence direct flight from Nigeria to Tel-Aviv during the pilgrimage, promising that the activation of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and the State of Israel was discussed.
The NCPC boss further informed that the Commission would embark on the State of Readiness visit to Israel and Jordan from 10th -17th January, 2022 to ascertain the level of preparedness by the host country and also to inspect facilities at the Holy Sites and Hotels.
He informed the State Pilgrimage Stakeholders that the meeting was very fruitful as it centered on the forthcoming 2021 pilgrimage exercise to Israel and the issue of COVID 19 protocols.