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Pilgrims to SCOAN topped foreign visitors’ to Lagos, Abuja airports in 2018—Study

As FAAN report says 4.2m Int’l passengers moved in, out of airports same period

Just as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has said a total of 15.2 million passengers passed through Nigerian airports in 227,834 aircraft movements in 2018, a study carried out by Business Hilights Intelligence Unit (BHIU) during the period on ‘Drivers of Foreign Traffic in Nigerian Airports’ has revealed that visits to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) topped in number of visitors to Nigeria.
According to BHIU study report, “In 2018, there were usually high number of international visitors arriving Lagos and Abuja airports between Thursdays and Saturdays for onward traffic to Ikotun, venue of the church belonging to Prophet TB Joshua”.
“During the study, undercover chats with top officials of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), confirmed that in Lagos airport in particular, their office procedures are usually under pressure in administering checks on SCOAN visitors between Thursdays and Saturdays and Mondays to Wednesdays for their departures.
Though efforts to get the monthly figures on visitors coming for SCOAN’s Sunday Live Service at NIS Airport office failed during the study, rounds of undercover findings at the church during the Sunday Service showed that in 2018, there was rise in number of visitors when compared with previous years.
BHIU report also revealed that chats with regular Nigerian church members showed rising attendance of international worshippers as the average number of non-Nigerians in the church every Sunday has risen from over 250 as at 2016/17 to close to 450 in 2018.

With this rising figures, SCOAN remains the institution that drives highest travel and tourism receipts and associated national income to Nigeria.
Additional details from FAAN’s 2018 Annual Report obtained in Abuja also showed a jump of 2.5 million passengers from 12.7 million passengers recorded in 2017 representing 19.11 per cent increase.
FAAN also revealed an increase of 27,068 from the 200,766 aircraft movements recorded in 2017 representing 11.48 per cent increase, saying 11.02 million passengers travelled within the country (domestic), while a total of 4.2 million passengers travelled into and out of the country (international) through the airports during the period under review.
The data further showed that 182,924 domestic and 44,910 international flights were operated across the nation’s 22 airports during the period.
The total cargo movement, FAAN stated, stood at 245.89 million tonnes per kilogramme compared to the 169.50 million tonnes per kilogramme recorded in 2017.
The statistics also indicated that 174.91 million tonnes per kilogramme arrived in the country through the airports, while 70.89 million tonnes departed during the year.
A look at the four major airports in the country showed that Murtala Muhammed Airports, Lagos, (Domestic and International Wing) recorded the highest passengers and aircraft movements during the period.
The data indicated that Lagos airport recorded 6.7 million passengers comprising 2.8 million on domestic routes and 2.9 million on the international routes.
The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, recorded 4.6 million passengers comprising 3.7 million on domestic routes, while the international routes recorded 941,182 passengers.
FAAN also disclosed that Port Harcourt International Airport recorded 1.14 million passengers comprising 1.05 million domestic passengers and 92,050 international within the period under review.