By: Abdul Jelil Adebayo

Exactly three years ago the third Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, NCPC, Reverend Yakubu Pam, was appointed. Not many gave him a chance but now the wailers and those expecting nothing much from the commission are praising the astute administrator for performing beyond expectations.

Certainly, he has not disappointed his principal by upholding the vision of the NCPC which was established by an Act of Parliament in 2007.

The NCPC is an agency of the federal government that is to provide excellent services and administration to Nigerian Christians who perform pilgrimage to Holy sites around the world.

Rev. Pam was appointed the chief executive officer of the commission on 26th June, 2020, but assumed office on 7th July, 2020. By this appointment, he is the third substantive executive secretary of the commission.

On assumption of office, he hit the ground running by unveiling the blueprint of his administration articulated in his six-point agenda.

Chief among them is to fight and eradicate corruption, strategic engagement with the stakeholders, relationship building, reorientation of the mindset of people, and creation of a Peace Desk in the commission.

So far, he has been able to achieve these laudable objectives through his purposeful and staff centered policies.

In the period under review, the NCPC boss has been able to rekindle hope and trust in the commission which has engendered stakeholders’ respect and confidence in the commission.

He is ensuring that staff embark on annual staff training and retreat unhindered, allowances of staff are paid as at when due and promotion of staff has been regular under his leadership.

Part of his achievements also could be seen in the repositioning of the zonal offices. He maintained that the zonal offices should be strengthened for effective and efficient service delivery in their various zones. He ensured that he appointed senior officers to head the zones and insist the zonal coordinators are from the same geopolitical zones they superintend.

For the first time since the establishment of the commission, the production of NCPC maiden in-flight entertainment video was carried out and produced as approved by the executive secretary. It will be recalled that efforts made before now to produce an in-flight entertainment video had never been possible. The In-flight entertainment helps to entertain pilgrims while on board and remove boredom on flight.

Against all odds, Rev. Pam successfully introduced Jordan as a pilgrimage destination option; he was able to venture into a new pilgrimage destination – the Kingdom of Jordan – for the first time in the history of Christian pilgrimage which was a child of necessity due to the prolonged closure of the Israel borders against international travels.

Therefore, one of the greatest achievements of Rev. Yakubu Pam in the last three years is his unflinching commitment to ensuring the commission participates in pilgrimage despite the challenges of lack of operational funds.

Determined to expand the scope of Christian pilgrimage, Pam also visited Turkey where he inspected some of the holy sites in the country, bearing in mind that the NCPC enabling Act empowers it to perform pilgrimages in the holy sites around the world.

Desirous to change the narratives, he embarked on the construction of NCPC Pilgrim’s Heritage camp at the Central Business District of Abuja which has received a tremendous boost as the construction work has progressed greatly.

The executive secretary has also approved the production of NCPC legacy pilgrims’ anthem which are usually distributed to intending pilgrims during orientation programme. What an innovation!

He came up with the idea of producing the NCPC first screening manual. The commission for the first time in its history was able to produce a screening manual which is serving as a guide to staff on screening exercise.

It is worthy of note that for the first time in 12 years, zero abscondment of pilgrims in Jordan as well as zero mortality and zero morbidity have been recorded. A feat indeed!

Obviously, the giant strides of the executive secretary are obvious and worthy of commendation. Indeed, Rev. Pam has been able to enthrone purposeful and visionary leadership within these three years in the saddle.

He is indeed leaving an indelible mark in the sands of time as far as Christian pilgrimage in Nigeria is concerned, just within three years in the saddle. Raise the cup and clink the glasses for this astute administrator.

Abdul is an Abuja based media consultant

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