The Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), has said it is still unsafe for Nigerians to embark on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and other religious sites, largely due to the COVID-19.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Rev. Yakubu Pam, made this known while responding to questions from reporters in Abuja, over the weekend.

He said the international airways are not yet open for travel. However, the commission is hoping that the issue of the coronavirus would abate by December.

He said: “Right now, it is not safe, largely because of COVID-19. However, we are hoping that by December this year, the international skies would be open for travel.

“We are putting all measures together for a successful pilgrimage once the issue of COVID-19 is settled. But in the event that it didn’t happen this year, we would prepare for the first quarter of next year.”

On the issue of racist attacks on Nigerians because of their skin colour, Rev. Pam said: “It has to do with the image we portray there. Sometimes, they look down on us because of the kind of behaviour our people exhibit in the holy land.

“If we improve our image and behave like global citizens, we would enjoy a good reputation and treatment. We also have to do lots of public relations to improve our image. We will start with the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria.”