Nigeria stands a chance of becoming an economic hub in Africa if the government and major stakeholders key into her tourism potentials. Our domestic tourism is an untapped goldmine, and a key subsector is religious tourism. Unfortunately, much attention has not been devoted to that sector of the economy. Year in, year out, most Nigerians travel to faraway Saudi Arabia and Israel in a quest to see holy places of interests.
In 2019, it has been reported that some 45,450 Nigerians, performed Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Of that number, over 40,000 people made the pilgrimage through the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), while others travelled using private tour operators.
On the other hand, a similar figure attended the Holy Pilgrimage in Israel this year facilitated by the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC). The trip, usually done in 9 days, cost about ₦715,000 for those willing to do it only in Israel. Others who want to experience Rome/Israel/Greece/Portugal may be parting with ₦940,000 which include air ticket, visa fee, feeding, accommodation and tour to holy sites.
Back home much has not been done to attract foreign worshippers, that despite the fact that Nigeria is blessed with amazing religious sites. But one woman, Rev. Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi, the General Overseer of Love of Christ Generation Church is doing something close to that. There is no doubt that if all the necessary things are put in place, her annual religious crusade would be able to drive traffic into the country. The government, however, needs to ensure that infrastructure, roads, electricity, security and other social amenities are in place.
Recently Rev. Esther Abimbola Ajayi held an annual Christian crusade tagged “Celebrate The Comforter” in Lagos. The event which has changed the lives of Christians and non-Christians alike also attracted tourist into the country. Details of the international Christian event is captured in this particular edition as the cover.
A concise expose of activities of the famous Ijamido Children’s Home; Ojude Festival of Owo people in Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State; the achievements of the new Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt Hamisu Rabiu Yadudu and the inspiring story of Apostolic Mother and Prophetess Florence Ojini Akinwubni who gave birth to her first twin children at age 64 and that of Temitayo Akintayo, the CEO of De Image Creation Fashion School were all captured in this edition.
We also took a look at two Obas: His Royal Highness (HRH) Rasheed Adesegun Rufai Alao, Olowo of Owo and Oba Moruf Ayinla Awode, the Ololo of Ijofin kingdom, Onimolo 1 who are doing great community developments in their domains.
In doing so, we looked at the rich Yoruba cultural heritage, including the Ojude Oba festival as practised in Owo town.
Activities of some airlines in the aviation industry were brought to the fore, including Air Peace amongst others.
The Anointed Church of Christ, Aladura (ACCA) also celebrated its fifty years anniversary. The story is in this edition and lots more.
This edition promises to be a very interesting one.
So sit back relax and enjoy.