Ondo State government will no longer sponsor its citizens on pilgrimages to Mecca or Israel, instead it will encourage religious organisations and wealthy individuals to sponsor intending pilgrims.
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) said this while hosting the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission, Reverend Uja Tor Uja, who paid him a courtesy visit in Akure. Akeredolu said that some beneficiaries use the exercise for business purposes.
Also, according to the governor, the state does not have the funds to spend for that purpose as there is need for prudent management of scarce resources.
He told his guests that the state Christian Welfare Board would soon be constituted to encourage Churches and wealthy individuals to sponsor intending pilgrims.
Akeredolu also lauded the commission for the initiative of taking Christians to Israel to learn their agricultural system. He, however, warned that mixing pilgrimage and business trips would amount to loss of focus on the part of those involved in such misplaced priorities.
President of the Ondo Christian Traditional Rulers and the Olowo of Owo, Oba Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi and the state chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend John Ayo Oladapo, among others were part of the visit.