Nigeria’s Father of Tourism, Chief Mike Amachree, has expressed shock over the death of the founder and Senior Pastor of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Prophet T.B. Joshua. He expressed his condolences to the SCOAN and the the late pastor’s family on the great loss.
Speaking on the contribution of the late pastor to the growth of tourism in Nigeria, Amachree said: “Prophet T.B. Joshua single-handedly elevated Nigeria into a religious tourism destination that attracts thousands of inbound religious pilgrims from all over the world, who troop to the SCOAN for worship and also sought spiritual and physical solutions to their problems. The prophet died at a time when tourism practitioners are putting heads together on how to grow the industry after the COVID-19 pandemic, was unfortunate and a major setback for the country.”
Amachree who said he was impressed by the activities of the late pastor when he visited Ikotun, Lagos, pointed out how the late pastor created a tourism economy in Ikotun, a suburb in the city of Lagos, and put it on the world tourism map.
He said: “I was sad to hear of the death of Prophet T.B. Joshua because I know what he represented for Nigerian tourism. He was the biggest tourist attraction to Nigeria. About 80 per cent of non-business tourists coming to Nigeria are visiting his SCOAN Ikotun. This has created a tourism economy in that axis, making it possible for people to generate income to take care of themselves and their families.
“Visit Ikotun, you will see the number of hotels and other accommodation facilities, eateries, different kinds of vendors who are depending on visitors to Ikotun for their source of livelihood. The tourism industry in Ikotun is all tied to Prophet T.B. Joshua’s SCOAN. He feeds and clothes thousands of people in that axis. How are they going to survive and generate income without the tourism business? His death is huge setback for the country.
“In addition to this, the late Prophet T.B. Joshua had built a multibillion-naira, world-class tourism resort, the SCOAN Prayer Mountain Resort. The resort would create thousands of jobs for people to earn livelihood. He really did so much for the industry. That is why his death is a great loss to us in the country.”
Nigeria’s Father of Tourism urged tourism industry practitioners not to be discouraged by the loss of Prophet T.B. Joshua, but should continue to build the industry and make the country a world-class tourism destination.
Prophet T.B. Joshua died on Saturday, July 5, after conducting religious service for some of his members.