As the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) prepares for the 2013 Christian Pilgrimage to Israel, Rome and Greece, the commission has disclosed that only two airlines have so far bid for air carrier’s job that would see the successful airlines lifting pilgrims to the holy land later this year.
Disclosing the commitment of the commission to ensure due process in the biding exercise at the opening of the bids held recently at recently at Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja, John Kennedy Opara, executive secretary of the commission, noted that the bid was opened to interested but competent airlines with adverts placed in the Nigerian dailies since March 22, 2013.
While TAT presented their cost prize of flight from Nigeria- Israel at $1,790 and additional $420 to Rome and Greece, Atlas jet offered $1,750 from Nigeria – Israel and additional $240 to Rome and $200 to Greece. However, the NCPC in house estimate is $1,400 to Israel and additional $300 to either Rome or Greece, this excludes the administrative charges.
Despite the narrow option, the NCPC helmsman assured air carriers that the Commission would do everything humanly possible to follow due process. According to him, “if the bidders do not meet the requirements as published in the Newspapers, they would not be allowed to airlift pilgrims for the 2013 pilgrimage exercise.”
Opara averred that Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority,( NCAA) and the Ministry of Aviation would ensures that only the Air Carrier that qualifies for the bid would be selected before the final approval by President Goodluck Jonathan, noting that the insistence on due process was in order not to compromise the comfort and lives of pilgrims which are paramount to the commission.
Nicholas Okoh, chairman, NCPC who doubles as the primate of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, advised bidders to shun those who would come in disguise as NCPC representatives to ask for favour from them. He further advised the Technical Evaluation Committee to ensure that the qualified bidders are chosen.
In her remarks, Nnenna Ukaeje, chairperson, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, stated that the bidding was in line with their oversight function and the Procurement Act which is to ensure transparency.