Some hotels and guest houses operating in Ikotun, Egbe, around the Synagogue Church of All Nations in the Alimosho Local Government of Lagos State, have decried non-patronage since the demise of the church founder, Prophet Temitope Joshua, known as TB Joshua on June 5.
The hoteliers lamented on Sunday that the various facilities meant for lodging both foreigners and Nigerians who travelled to SCOAN from outside Lagos, are now almost lying empty since the demise of the SCOAN pastor – a situation which had subjected them to anxiety.
Alhponus Odioma, the owner of a 240-room facility in the area, stated that his dream of making a fortune through the provision of guest rooms and its sundry services to pilgrims of SCOAN had diminished.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria, Odioma said his hotel that used to be very busy with checking in and exit of lodgers had become a ghost town for close to a month.
“I began business in the area in 2007 with a little residential apartment that I acquired, but with the upsurge of lodging demands, I had to get a bigger place.
“Like my other colleagues, I hired more personnel alongside constant innovation of services and facilities to retain and attract more patronage, especially from foreigners that were coming to worship at SCOAN.
“We are now running at a deficit as we are experiencing a lull in business. Before now, the revenue we usually realised in a week was enough to cater for a month’s overhead.
“Right now, no one knows when the lull in business will end,” he said.
He added that although the spouse of the founder had been commissioned to take over as the leader of the church, it is not yet known if she would be able to perform in the deliverance ministry like the founder.
He said that it was the deliverance aspect that attracted people from all over the world and that it was what had sustained their business over the years.
Another hotelier, Mathew Ohajiri, said the fate of his facility and business was hanging in the balance as the place had been empty since the demise of Mr Joshua.
He said it was the church activities in the synagogue that were driving the business with lodgers scrambling for space daily.
Ohajiri, who expressed hope of the return of the ‘good old days’ with the rise of another healer in the synagogue, said that despondency had become their lot for now.
Pockets of worshippers conducted Sunday service in an open space beside the church auditorium as the church has remained locked since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.