The vicinity of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), founded by the Late Pastor T. B. Joshua is fast becoming a shadow of what it used to be
The church which is located in the Ikotun area of Lagos, where a lot of activities used to be carried out, with many travellers trooping in to worship is fast becoming a ghost town.
The area which was surrounded by businesses and shops such as eateries, hotels, convenient stores and business centers seems to have lost its trading vibes as shops are said to be closing up.
Hotels and short-stay apartments within the church premises also seem to have been hit by the fact that businesses are no longer moving as they were before, and some are said to have placed their properties up for sale.
Reports reveal that while some of the hotels have been remodelled as residential apartments, others have been placed on sale, among which is the popular Victoria Continental Hotel, while others have laid off over one hundred staff members.
According to Akeem Olasiga, who owns a business around the church premises, “Victoria Continental Hotel and suites just sold their building because no customer was coming, De Lodge will soon sell their hotel and Glorious Hotel. This hotel I can confirm to you that since the death of TB Joshua the customers that have entered are not up to fifty.”
Emmanuel Ogbebor, a retrenched staff member of the Hymax Grace hotel said before they were laid off, the hotel struggled to have lodgers seek accommodation with them.
He said, “I was a security man at Hymax Grace hotel before they sacked me because they couldn’t pay my salary anymore. People were no longer lodging in the hotel, that was why they had to sack us. The main customers that lodged there were people from the church with over one hundred rooms.”
Speaking further on the state of things in the church premises, Ogbebor who now works for another hotel within the church said, “we have more than two hundred rooms in this hotel and within the last ten months, the total lodgers are not up to one hundred. As I speak to you, the two hundred rooms have been empty for some months now. There is nobody coming to SCOAN that would require them to lodge here.”
Attributing the deadness of business to the death of the leader of the church, he said, “when prophet was alive, the whole rooms used to be filled with foreigners everyday because they are members of SCOAN who need healing or something.
“Then the church functions weekly with activities. It can either be Monday to Friday, T. B. Joshua must surely come out to say something. So people from all over the world would like to come and listen.
However, Olasiga proposes that if the church was opened for members, things would get better again.
He said, “many other hotels have converted their lodge to apartments because they were expecting that the current pastor, Madam Evelyn Joshua would open the church for members and our businesses would be back. But it has not been like that.”