Some stakeholders in the tourism sector on Sunday urged the Federal and Lagos state Governments to dissuade Pastor TB Joshua from relocating the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) to Israel from Nigeria.
It was reported that TB Joshua, during one of his church services, said he was planning to relocate to Israel from Ikotun, a suburb of Lagos.
He was quoted as saying that he was offered different facilities very close to the biblical site of the Sea of Galilee where he could organise meetings for international pilgrims.
Some heads of government from African countries had on different occasions visited SCOAN to seek spiritual restoration and advice from the Pastor.
Ime Udo, the General Secretary of the Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NANTA) said Nigeria would lose billions of naira from religious tourism revenue if SCOAN actualised its planned relocation to Israel.
Udo said Joshua’s planned action would lead to a reduction in the human traffic of local and foreign religious tourists that normally patronised SCOAN.
A member of SCOAN, Iyabo Emmanuel, said she was in church when their General Overseer announced to the members on the offer given to him by the Israeli Mayors.
Emmanuel said many residents and business owners would suffer if TB Joshua should relocate SCOAN from Ikotun.
She said majority of business owners around the area depended solely on the visitors to the church and they used to patronise facilities around the church.
A hotel operator, Anthonia Chuks, said if the rumour that TB Joshua was relocating to Israel eventually turned to reality, the hospitality business in that area and the state would suffer and fold up.
”Ninety–five percent of guests that lodge in hotels in the community are international and local visitors outside Lagos and they are SCOAN members.”
Similarly, Solomon Oyelade, a car-hire operator, said that since the rumour of the planned relocation of the church to Israel, the patronage of cabs had reduced drastically.
Oyelade said in the past, he used to go to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, seven times in a day to transport international passengers down to SCOAN.topics from