The State House of Assembly has lifted embargo it placed on the Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board not to carry out screening of Pilgrims for the 2015 Pilgrimage to Israel.
The resolution was taken when the Secretary of the Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mrs. Rose Uko, appeared before the House to answer questions on the activities of the Board.
The Secretary said that all intending pilgrims pay a fee of two thousand Naira to obtain the pilgrims form.
On why the board should collect money from people when it knows that only few chances are available for consideration, Mrs. Uko said the Board is a revenue generating organ of government as it is given a revenue target of Five Million Naira per year.
She said the state has since she assumed the Secretaryship in 2011, sent an average of 1000 pilgrims every year to the Holy land adding that for this year, the Board intends to send six hundred pilgrim
In their arguments, Mr. Lawrence Udofa of Eket and Elder Friday Iwok of Abak, said a religious exercise as pilgrimage should be non-profit making and that the Pilgrims Welfare Board should not be given a revenue target.
Lifting the suspension, the Speaker, Elder Aniekan Uko, observed that Akwa Ibom was one of the States that has paid for the 2015 pilgrimage and it would be wrong not to allow those intending to participate.
He directed the Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board to furnish the House with a complete list of intending pilgrims from Akwa Ibom State for the 2015 pilgrimage.