- Some experts in tourism have urged the federal government to persuade the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) Temitope Joshua not to relocate his church to Israel
- The expert said Nigeria risks losing billions if Prophet T.B Joshua relocates his church
Some experts in tourism have urged the federal government to persuade the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) Temitope Joshua not to relocate his church to Israel.
The experts while speaking in Lagos on Sunday, May 14, said Nigeria risks losing billions if Prophet T.B Joshua relocates his church.
Although many, well known Nigerians have begged the prophet not to carry out his threat.
But in her reaction, the general secretary of the Nigerian Association of Tour Operations (NANTA), Imo Udo said Joshua's planned action would lead to reduction of human traffic of local and international tourists in the area.
Udo said: “Religious obligations have become a fashionable trend all over the world as a means of expressing beliefs and faith in the ability of God to protect and guide mankind.
“Religious practices both under the auspices of Christianity, Islam and traditional practices have in no small way contributed to the development of tourism in the world.
“Christian pilgrimages to Israel have formed an economic platform for the empowerment of the localities and contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
“Also, Saudi Arabia has been benefiting immensely economically from many Islamic faithful who converge there twice annually on holy pilgrimage. “With these scenarios and many others around the world, it has become valid that religious tourism has become a source of economic revival to a country and its people," she said.
Udo also advised the federal and Lagos state governments to encourage SCOAN to remain in Nigeria as part of the ways to develop our tourism sector.
NAIJ.com recalls that the prophet had threatened to relocate his church in Ikotum, Lagos state to Israel.
Joshua's announcement came during one of his church service after he visited Israel, where he held meetings with the mayors of Jerusalem, Tiberia and the Jordan Valley.
Meanwhile, one of the church members Iyabo Emmanuel said many residents and business owners would suffer if TB Joshua should relocate SCOAN from Ikotun.
“I have been worshiping in SCOAN since 1994 when TB Joshua established it newly in Ikotun area," Enmanuel said.
I worked with TB Joshua for 15 years before I resigned and ventured into selling of provisions. Then, I was the chef; head of canteen and bakery.
“I am still a full-time member of the church and I will continue to worship there. I am one of those that had benefited from the church,” she said.
Also, a hotel operator Anthonia Chuks said if T.B Joshua finally carries out his threat, 95% of guest that lodge in hotels around Ikotun area will be lost.
She said: "We have over 130 rooms and are always fully booked every weekend."
"We usually enjoy huge patronage from Fridays to Sundays weekly; and they are mostly SCOAN members from near and far,” Chuks noted.
Watch this NAIJ.com video if Nigerians talking about corrupt leaders below: